TULSA - Every Tuesday and Thursday the gym at The Tulsa Dream Center turns into a grocery serving up to 1,000 people.
Calls of “You get two milks and two cheeses,” echo through the crowd waiting patiently in the line that snakes past tables heaped with prepared foods, vegetables, meat, eggs, milk and bread.
The free groceries mean a lot to Lela and her children. She said, “There’s many a times there’s been predicaments when I lost my job I didn’t have no means of getting food and I was able to walk up here.”
The non-profit Tulsa Dream Center works with as many as 70,000 people a year. Some are folks that found themselves in desperate circumstances. Others just need a little help to better their lives.
“There’s so many people in this community that need help,” said Executive Director Wendell Hope.
Originally, the Center was designed to serve North Tulsa. It now has a much broader reach according to Hope.
“We’ve seen a lot of people come from all over the Tulsa metroplex.”
Children are a special focus for the center. It offers free after-school tutoring to help struggling students improve their grades. Ten-year-old Rakell Jones believes the support she gets has helped.
“I think I’ve become a better student because of this place. It helps you understand what you’re reading.”
“The goal is to impact these kids academically so they can achieve in life,” said Tim Newton who helps run the children’s programs.
Newton believes the tutoring program should be proud of the scholastic improvements seen in its students. “Eighty percent of our kids are A’s and B’s in school, and they’re on the honor roll.”
Bryan Ayala feels he’s learning more than just academics by participating in the tutoring program. “The reason I like this place is because they help you with your homework, get you good grades and teach you manners.”
And that is something the folks at the tutoring program believe is making a difference - helping students keep out of trouble and focused on getting an education in school.