‘Tis the season for diapers

There are holiday parties. And then, there are holiday parties—with diapers. These are much more satisfying. Why? Here are three reasons to make your holiday party a major diaper bash so you can collect for charities that help babies and families.

1. The Warm Glow of Giving

It’s a basic human truth: it is better to give than to receive.

Did you know that on average it costs approximately $120 per month (or $1,440 per year) to keep a baby in diapers? That’s going through 8–10 diapers per day—and one-third of families struggle to pay for it. (Every Little Bottom Study, Huggies®, 2010)

The holidays are the perfect time to enjoy the warmth of giving and put the needs of others ahead of our own. Whether you’re hosting your own gathering or helping to organize a corporate party, asking for diaper donations could make it a special event that will make everyone feel good.

2. You’re Putting More Smiles on More Babies

When families have to choose between diapers and food, the choice is clear. As a result, babies in those families wear dirty diapers longer.

And sometimes, out of necessity, dirty diapers are cleaned out and re-used.

This can lead to more irritation, rash, and discomfort. Donating diapers during the holidays—and beyond—keeps babies healthier and happier.

3. Strengthen the Family, Strengthen the Society

Babies aren’t the only ones who will be smiling—moms and dads will, too. Diapering bonds the parent to the child emotionally.

Further studies reveal that mothers who regularly change their child’s diapers are more likely to improve themselves through education—either enrolling in GED courses, parenting classes, or both. (Every Little Bottom Study, Huggies®, 2010).

The DC Diaper Bank created an amazing infographic that powerfully conveys the need—and the power—of donating diapers. Check it out here.

Plan to Party

The holidays are the perfect time to get together with family, friends, and coworkers. Make your party a diaper party!

If you live in or near Oklahoma, Caleb’s Cause can help you organize it. Click here to learn how to host a party in support of Caleb's Cause.

And there's a great printable invitation here if you’d just like to invite people to bring diapers to donate to your party.

Shepherd’s Cupboard

Shepherd’s Cupboard in Enid is one of the largest food pantries in the state of Oklahoma. It’s operated by the Bethany United Methodist Church, and has been up and running since 2000. This ministry helps many struggling families in the area every month through their services.

The pantry hands out food on the third and fourth Tuesdays of each month. This timing is especially helpful to those that receive monthly paychecks at the beginning or very end of the month. Sometimes at the end of the month the money gets tighter. This can make it difficult for those in need to buy the necessities, including food.

Each month the pantry distributes about 20,000 pounds of food and feeds around 2,000 people, helping multiple families along the way.

Donations received by this organization go to help buy the food from the Oklahoma Regional Food Bank. For this reason monetary donations are just as helpful as food donations, although both are appreciated. Many of the people helped by this ministry are senior citizens, the disabled and those who no longer have the ability to work.

Like many non-profit organizations, volunteers are what keep Shepherd’s Cupboard going. While many volunteers are used for food distribution days, they also look for those willing to help on the day the food is delivered. Volunteers are needed to help unload the truck on the third Monday of each month. This is a great way to get the family together and give back to those who are less fortunate.

Take this opportunity to lend a helping hand and teach your kids the importance of volunteering. Bethany United Methodist Church is located at 931 East Maple Ave. in Enid, Oklahoma. To learn more about volunteering with this organization call the church at (580) 237-6611.

4th Annual OKC Diaper Drive

We want to send out a big thank you to everyone who helped make our 4th annual 5k and 1 Mile Fun Run such a huge success. The super hero themed event was fun for those of all ages. I am happy to say that we met and exceeded our goal for this year, which was initially set at 100,000 diapers. However, because of the donations and support of all those involved we ended up raising a total of 120,000 diapers.

The proceeds of this race will go to providing diapers for local children in need. There are currently no government programs that provide assistance or cover this necessary cost for struggling families. Diapers can cost $100 or more a month. In some cases this is a lot more than families living in poverty can afford. This leaves parents in a tough position where, at times, they may have to choose between two necessities like diapers or food.

This struggle is more common than one might think! On average, a baby uses about 10-12 diapers a day, while a toddler goes through roughly 8. Not having enough diapers can lead to an increased risk of health problems for that child. The 120,000 diapers raised this year will greatly help the lives of some of these families.

This year would not have been such a success without the help and support of our sponsors. We would like to send a special thank you to OneHealthyBod for donating an amazing raffle prize, Elite Insurance Associates and TrustPoint Insurance for their generous contributions, and Keller Williams Central for their ongoing support and promotion of this event. We are so thankful for every single one of our sponsors that were involved this year in the diaper drive. It could not have been done without you.

Although this year’s 5k and 1 Mile Fun Run is over, that doesn’t mean the giving has to end. If you have diapers you would like to donate please contact us at info@calebscausefoundation.org. We can’t wait to see everyone next year on August 27, 2016 for the 5th Annual Diaper Drive. Mark your calendars now!

Martin Park Nature Center

The Martin Park Nature Center is more than just your average park. It is also a place where Oklahomans have the opportunity to explore and learn about nature and wildlife. Sitting on 144 acres, it contains 2.5 miles of walking trails.

This is a great place to visit for exercising or even just observing the nature around you. If visitors want to explore the park on their own during park hours there are trail maps and signs pointing you in the right direction.

The park holds many different amenities and attractions that appeal to visitors of all ages. The younger ones may visit the playground or be a part of nature story time, for ages 3-7. For the slightly older kids, ages 9-13, there is an opportunity to be a part of a nature appreciation program called the Green Earth Gang. Teenagers from 13-18 years old can join the Green Earth Rangers. Each group’s focus and duties are tailored towards the specific age group and cover topics such as park maintenance, conservation, and park wildlife.

Martin Park Nature Center offers many different nature education programs throughout the year discussing various topics such as animal habitats and behavior, hiking practices, and edible plants. The education center displays a variety of insect and reptile species and a nature education library. A unique aspect about the education center is that it holds the city’s first observation beehive, which has over 8,000 active bees.

There are many volunteer opportunities available through this organization. Volunteer guides or education leaders are needed to help with nature programming and group hikes. You can also volunteer based on your personal interests. If you happen to be an avid birdwatcher you can lead a group hike or discussion on this topic. If you are more interested in trees, lead a group hike or journey through the Martin Park Woods.

Group volunteer projects are also available throughout the year. These are ideal for groups such as schools, scout groups, or any other community teams. Activities can range from basic park maintenance to more specialized projects. These projects can be geared towards specific groups such as eagle scouts, girls scouts, adventure scouts, or 4-H clubs. To learn more about volunteering with Martin Park Nature Center call the park naturalist at 405-297-1429 or visit their web page.

Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Food Pantry

“Doing the Most Good” is what the Salvation Army strives for in their mission to feed, to clothe, to comfort, and to care for those in need. As part of the universal Christian Church, they use their mission and efforts to share the Christian gospel.

Operating 7,546 centers across the United States, the Salvation Army offers services in food distribution, disaster relief, rehabilitation centers, anti-human trafficking efforts, and children’s programs.

In 1900 with a small grant from the city, this organization put up its first permanent shelter in Oklahoma City to serve the hungry and those in need. The Salvation Army in Central Oklahoma now has 2 emergency shelters, five senior centers, a food pantry and food kitchen, 2 boys and girls clubs, and social services. More than 300,000 meals are served yearly with over 36,000 grocery orders given. This branch works year round serving Oklahoma County, Canadian County and Cleveland County.

The Salvation Army relies greatly on its volunteers, and offers many ways for you to help. The Client Choice Pantry volunteering opportunity is one great way to get the whole family involved. You will have the chance to assist clients with shopping, cleaning and washing fresh vegetables, or offer encouraging words and prayers. Groups of 10-12 individuals are needed every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Stocking the food pantry is currently done on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Here’s the current Food Pantry Schedule, although their website will obviously have more up-to-date information.

  • Monday: 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm
  • Tuesday: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
  • Wednesday: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm; 1:00pm – 4:00 pm
  • Thursday: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm; 1:00pm – 4:00 pm
  • Friday: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

If you are interested in looking into that and other various volunteer opportunities, check out their website.

The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital

A private non-profit hospital in Bethany, Oklahoma, The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital offers Complex Care, Pediatric Medical Rehabilitation, a Pediatric Clinic, and Outpatient Therapy.

They believe that life is sacred, a gift from a loving Creator, and that all children are of equal worth. Because of that belief, they provide state-of-the-art pediatric medical and rehabilitative services. They also strive to provide a compassionate environment consistent with the Christian principles on which they were founded.

The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital was started back in 1898, by Mattie Mallory, who felt God’s call to help the orphans of Oklahoma City. They moved several times, finally settling in Bethany, Oklahoma in 1909.

In 1939, the orphans were moved to the Sunbeam Home in downtown Oklahoma City, and the original orphanage changed its mission to that of a medical center for children.

Today, a wide range of medical services are provided. The Hospital now has more than 475 employees and an operating budget of more than $25 million.

Volunteer opportunities are available to those 17 years of age and older. Training is provided, and no medical experience or knowledge is required. To work directly with patients, you must commit to a service period of at least six months for at least one hour a week.

As of the writing of this article, the following opportunities existed:

  • Assisting with Special Education Classes
  • Completing Art Projects and Playing Games
  • Reading to Patients at Bedside
  • Rocking Infants

For more information on volunteering, visit the official Volunteer Program on their website. 

Edmond Parks & Recreation Department

Edmond has a grand total of 26 parks managed by the Parks & Recreation Department, from Mitch Park on the north side of town, to Bickham-Rudkin Park near 33rd & Rankin Terrace. The department promotes recreation for family and community bonds that last a lifetime.

The parks have a number of classes and events, and are a great place for families to play together and neighborhoods to interact.

The parks include Pavilion Rental and Recreation Classes. In addition, the department has several sports and recreation partners, each of which may have their own volunteer opportunities.

Of course, the Edmond Parks & Recreation Department utilize volunteers themselves as well, especially to help people of all ages experience the benefit of recreation. They are looking for teens, ages 13 – 18, as well as adults.

 

Feed the Children

Hunger hurts one out of every seven children. Did you know that the biggest reason kids around the world go hungry is poverty? That poverty often means that not only do they go hungry, but they often don’t have access to clean water, health care, or even education in some places in the world.

Feed the Children exists to end childhood hunger. Started in 1979, the national headquarters are in Oklahoma City, but the organization serves children and families around the globe.

Hunger and malnutrition aren’t always easy to spot. While you might think of bloated bellies or skin and bones, hunger can also cause stunted growth. And someone in the United States might eat a lot of empty calories and be overweight, but still be starving for healthy food.

In the years they’ve been around, Feed the Children has distributed…

  • Over 100 million pounds of food and essentials to children and their families
  • Over 5000,000 backpacks filled with school supplies, food, and personal care items
  • Over 350,000 meals daily through school feeding programs

Feed the Children focuses on connecting donors, experts, partners, leaders and communities to attack the problem of childhood hunger from all angles.

One of the ways you can help is through volunteering. Anyone through out the world can apply to be a volunteer, but there are additional opportunities in Oklahoma City.



Library volunteers

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If you’ve ever borrowed a book or used the digital resources available from the library, you know how important the Metro Library System is to continuing education and cultural enrichment opportunities. The library is a hub of knowledge and facilitates the free flow of information and ideas by providing access to materials, services and programs to Oklahoma County’s diverse community.

The Capitol Hill Library has safe and welcoming physical spaces to meet and interact with others or to sit quietly and read. When you need information to resolve an issue or answer a question, you have the support and skills to search for, evaluate and effectively use information to meet your needs. The resources you need to explore topics of personal interest and continue to learn throughout your life are found at your library.

There’s no denying the importance your local library serves in the community and in continuing education. It’s the perfect place for your teenager to spend their summer volunteering. Your child’s volunteer work will encourage participation in Summer Reading for your entire community, help children love to read, and support your library.

The Capitol Hill Library has access to information with no unnecessary restrictions or fees to ensure that everyone in the community can take advantage of the ever-growing resources and services. It’s the volunteers that help keep the library free and resources current and up to date.

Volunteers are needed June 1 to July 31, in staggering shifts from 10:00 a.m. to 8:15 p.m. Monday through Saturday. All summer reading volunteer applicants will be interviewed, and participation will be based on both interest level and how well skill set fits the library’s needs. Although Capitol Hill Library cannot guarantee a place for every person wishing to volunteer, they will certainly do their best to place you where you would be able to make a difference.

If you’re interested in volunteering, contact Annie Emmons at 405-634-6308 or email aemmons@metrolibrary.org.

Coffee Creek Riding Center

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The Coffee Creek Riding Center in Edmond has a mission to help children with disabilities gain strength, coordination, balance and self image by utilizing horses as motivators in therapeutic riding classes.

The center has been providing free therapeutic riding to the community since 1977. Mrs. Lucille Fancey is the founder of the educationally based therapeutic riding program.

Known to all as Mrs. F, she started out teaching English riding and jumping in the 1970’s. When an article appeared in the paper about the possibility of a center back in April of 1997, ten students and twenty-seven volunteers came out of the woodwork. The Coffee Creek Rising Center was born.

Over the years, the center has brought hope and improvement many individuals. The center is currently staffed by two full-time instructors and four class assistants, along with 180 volunteers. They serve approximately 280 students a year.

Whether it’s Ocean Rae, whose speech has developed tenfold, or Alahna, whose physical coordination has improved despite her Cerebral Palsy, the center continues to benefit many.

The center is funded by a combination of sources. That includes donations from organizations, businesses, and individuals, equipment grants, and designated funds from the United Way.

If you’d like to donate, you can do so on their website. And if you’d like to volunteer, you can fill out a form on their website. They accept volunteers aged 13 and up.