By: Duane Blankenship | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: October 2008
(L to R): Nancy Webster of Goodwill Industries of Tulsa, Amy Cannon, and Cindy Stevens of Community Food Bank display flyers promoting Make A Difference Day, October 25, 2008.
Three local charity organizations – the American Red Cross, Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, and Goodwill Industries of Tulsa – combine forces to spearhead Tulsa’s first Make A Difference Day.
Created by USA Weekend Magazine, Make A Difference Day is an annual event that takes place on the fourth Saturday of October. In 2007, three million people across the nation cared enough about their communities to volunteer on that day, accomplishing thousands of projects in hundreds of towns. It is the largest national day reserved for helping others – a celebration of neighbors helping neighbors – and anyone can participate. Millions of busy Americans will put their lives on hold and lend helping hands, proving that it is far better to give than to receive. Projects across the country will include anything from rebuilding a playground to cleaning up trash along a river or seashore.
For the first time ever, three local agencies have united to organize Make A Difference Day in Tulsa, scheduled for Saturday, October 25. On this day of helping others, area residents are encouraged to make a difference in our community by donating food, clothing and blood, and it can all be done in one place. Donations will be accepted from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the Clear Channel parking lot at 2625 S. Memorial in Tulsa.
Coupons for free food items, courtesy of Mazzio’s, McDonald’s, QuikTrip, Sonic, and Wendy’s, will be given to those who make donations. You can receive additional coupons when you make a donation to all three organizations. For those wanting to donate blood, call 1-800-GIVELIFE for an appointment.
“We are excited to partner with the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma and Goodwill Industries of Tulsa on Make A Difference Day this year,” said Jan Hale of the American Red Cross. “This is a one-stop place to donate food, clothing and blood that will benefit so many at a time when the need is so great.”
Recent economic downfalls have been extraordinarily challenging for area non-profit agencies, including the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, which reports a reduction in the amount of donations received this year.
“This event comes at a time when the need is high and the donations are low,” said Sara Waggoner, executive director of the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. “Our agencies are reporting a 25 to 30 percent increase in the number of people seeking food assistance.”
“We are blessed to be part of a community that has a tremendous history of sharing and caring,” said David E. Oliver, president of Goodwill Industries of Tulsa. “Our hope is that people will help us address the growing needs in our community by coming out and supporting this event.”
Sponsors of the local Make A Difference Day include Fox23, 97.5 KMOD, the Tulsa World, TulsaPeople Magazine and Value News, in addition to Mazzio’s, McDonald’s, QuikTrip, Sonic and Wendy’s, who are providing the food coupons.
Your help and support of Make A Difference Day will benefit the American Red Cross, Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, and Goodwill Industries of Tulsa as they continue to reach out and help thousands of Tulsa area beneficiaries with their services.
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.