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Helping families, teens during holiday season amid pandemic

Finding holiday help for teens can be a challenge
Posted at 2:18 PM, Dec 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-17 09:41:58-05

TULSA, Okla. — Catherine Blaylock suffers from kidney disease. Her diagnosis came shortly after she moved to Pryor with her teenage sons about a year ago. She is on dialysis several days a week while she waits and prays for a kidney transplant. Since becoming sick, Catherine finds paying her bills is getting tougher.

“I barely make my bills. I owe medical bills,” she said.

While the family does have a Christmas tree and stockings, there is no money for presents for Kristopher (13) and his 18-year-old brother.

Blaylock said, “I just think they deserve it. Cause they've stood by my side. They don't complain because they don't have the stuff that other kids have. They're really good kids."

This holiday season, rebounding from the impact of COVID-19 means more families need help to put holiday meals on the table, and presents under the tree.

But, those who have never experienced need before have discovered they may have waited too late to sign up for help. Many agencies cut-off sign-ups in October or November to give them enough time to pack meal baskets and fulfill wishes for presents.

Catherine Blaylock of Pryor found another issue when she tried to find help with presents for her teenage sons. She said, “There’s not very many places that you can get help… they have to be 12, 11 and under, you know ."

211’s Ashlie Casey told 2 Works for You, “ It can be very difficult for families with teenagers.”

But not impossible.

Casey advises those who are in need to call 211. It connects those in need with those who can help in more than 30 counties in northeast Oklahoma. It is constantly updating its database so they are also asking individuals and groups that can offer holiday help to call too. In some cases, 211 can link those needing help with others who are wishing to help on a one time basis.

“I would think there are a lot of communities that are able to respond, whether that be in smaller groups of churches in groups and those types of things that are looking for, for families to support.” Casey said. “It's just how do you get in contact with them? How do you reach out to them? How do you find each other? And so, again, that's where we would love the opportunity as to one to be that link.” Casey continued, “And so that we can try to make those links and find those links and help the majority of the people that call 211. It's not just one need that they have, it may start out the conversation of a holiday gift basket, but then we're able to also find out that they need assistance, you know with food benefits or with utility benefits with rent and benefits. And so we can provide far more resources than what maybe just the initial call was about.”

That includes finding resources to help those with teenagers by finding individuals or groups willing to provide gifts for teens who might otherwise go without this holiday season.

Casey provided this list as a starting point for folks looking for help, but said your best bet for offering help, or seeking it is to simply dial 211.

Marine Toys for Tots - Carter County
Ardmore, Ok 73401
Holiday gifts/toys
(580) 504-2624
Website: https://ardmore-ok.Toysfortots.Org/local-coordinator-sites/lco-sites/default.Aspx?Npageid=100&npreviewind=200
Registration begins mid-October.

INCA Community Services - Atoka County
371 W 10th Street
Atoka, Ok 74525
Holiday assistance: gifts and toys
(580) 889-5193
Registration: Mon-Fri beginning 11/01/2020
8am-5pm Distribution: tbd

Broken Arrow Neighbors
315 W College Street
Broken Arrow, Ok 74012
Christmas Gift Gallery
Holiday gifts/toys
(918) 251-7781
Registration: from 10/5/20 - 11/9/2020
Distribution: Monday 12/14/2020 9am-4pm, by appointment.

Omarine Toys for Tots - Tulsa and surrounding counties
26401 East 101st Street
Broken Arrow, OK 74014
Holiday gifts/toys
(918) 279-3820
(918) 279-3816 (spanish)
(918) 279-3803 (alternate service)
Web site: https://broken-arrow-ok.Toysfortots.Org/local-coordinator-sites/lco-sites/request-toys.Aspx
Registration: 10/01/2020 - 12/01/2020 or until all appointments are filled.

2 day toy giveaway for Rogers and Mayes Counties
Holiday gifts/toys
(918) 279-3820
Web site: https://claremore-ok.Toysfortots.Org/local-coordinator-sites/lco-sites/default.Aspx?Npageid=100&npreviewind=200

Red Andrews Christmas Dinner
1 Myriad Gardens
Oklahoma City, Ok 73102
2020 Christmas Meals
Holiday gifts/toys
(405) 886-2886
Web site: https://www.Redandrewsdinner.Org/
December 25

Operation Care Ministries
221 West Walnut
Altus, Ok 73521
Kids Christmas
Holiday gifts/toys
(580) 318-2490
Web site: http://www.Opcarehelps.Com
Dec. 5, 2020

Church Women United Toy Shop of Duncan
111 South 9th Street
Duncan, Ok 73534
Holiday gifts/toys
(580) 255-9625
Web site: https://www.Facebook.Com/pg/toyshopduncan/about/?Ref=page_internal
Child must live in Duncan

Marine Toys for Tots - Bryan County
Toys for tots registration
Holiday gifts/toys
Web site: https://durant-ok.Toysfortots.Org/local-coordinator-sites/lco-sites/request-toys.Aspx
Registration begins mid oct.

All Things Baby
405 West 2nd Street
Edmond, Ok 73003
Holiday gifts/toys
(405) 285-6245
Web site: www.Allthingsbabyok.Com
Tue 10am-1pm

Blessing Baskets
PO Box 50
El Reno, Ok 73036
(405) 262-3539
Web site: http://www.Elrenoblessingbaskets.Org/
Deadline December 4, 2020
Must live in Western Canadian County, Banner Road West does not include Yukon or Mustang.

Community Action Agency of Oklahoma and Canadian County
203 NE Bickford Suite 1
El Reno, Ok 73036
Web site:

Salvation Army Enid Corporation
516 North Independence
Enid, Ok 73701
(580) 237-1910
Accepting applications Oct.1, 2020

Salvation Army of Lawton
1306 SW East Avenue
Lawton, Ok 73501
(580) 355-1802
Web site:
2019 Angel Tree will be Oct. 21-25 for Commanche County only.

Mission Mid-Del Inc
5751 East Reno
Midwest City, Ok 73110
(405) 737-2010
Web site: http://www.Missionmiddel.Org/

Salvation Army of Norman
318 Ease Hayes
Norman, Ok 73069
(405) 364-9910
Web site:
2020 began Sept. 23 and will run until all spots are gone.

INCA Community Services - Marshall County
18941 South 8th Street
Oakland, oOk 73446
(580) 795-2372
Registration: Mon-Fri beginning 11/01/2020
8am-5pm Distribution: tbd

Citizens Caring for Children
730 West Wilshire Creek Boulevard Suite 112
Oklahoma City, Ok 73116
Service available for people living outside service area.
(405) 753-4099
Web site: www.Cccokc.Org
Foster children only

Jesus House
1335 West Sheridan
Oklahoma City, Ok 73106
(405) 232-7164
Web site: www.Jesushouseokc.Org/

Joe's Addiction
1725 SE 59th Street
Oklahoma City, Ok 73129
(405) 768-5161
Web site: www.Joesaddiction.Com

Sunbeam Family Services
1100 NW 14th Street
Oklahoma City, Ok 73106
(405) 609-6551
(405) 528-7721 main phone
Web site: www.Sunbeamfamilyservices.Org

Toys for Tots
(405) 737-7883 main phone
Web site: https://www.Toysfortots.Org/request_toys/default.Aspx
Deadline Nov. 15, 2020

Caring Community Friends
12 West Burnham Ave
Sapulpa, Ok 74067
(918) 224-6464
Web site: https://www.Caringcommunityfriends.Org/

Salvation Army of Shawnee
200 East 9th Street
Shawnee, Ok 74801
(405) 275-2243
Web site: http://www.Salvationarmyshawnee.Org

INCA Community Services - Murray County
1216 West 9th St
Sulphur, Ok 73086
(580) 622-5700
Registration: Mon-Fri beginning 11/01/2020
8am-5pm Distribution: tbd

INCA Community Services - Johnston County
202 South Capitol Ave
Tishomingo, Ok 73460
(580) 371-2352
Registration: Mon-Fri beginning 11/01/2020
8am-5pm Distribution: tbd
* resources in other states

Operation Homefront - Dallas, Tx
2904 Floyd Street Ste. C
Dallas, Tx 75204
(972) 213-3465 main phone
Web site: go to https://operationhomefront.Org

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