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Local nonprofits serving more Oklahomans than ever, but struggling amid pandemic

Posted at 10:05 PM, Dec 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-03 16:33:18-05

TULSA, Okla. — While many donate to nonprofit organizations on Giving Tuesday, Governor Kevin Stitt declared December 2020 as Oklahoma Nonprofit Month.

“Food insecurity or housing insecurity, we’re facing a potential eviction crisis," said Daniel Billingsley, vice president of external affairs for the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits. "It’s the nonprofits that are going to be responding to that.”

While these organizations help so many, they’re having a hard time. Now that a lot of fund-raising events are canceled, many are losing money.

“Our nonprofits that have reported to us, about 46 percent of them said that they have not met revenue targets," Billingsley said.

“Our income has probably been impacted by about 50 percent," said Anne Bogie, executive director of Oklahoma Project Woman.

Oklahoma Project Woman provides free breast health care to uninsured women and men. It helps about 4,000 to 5,000 Oklahomans every year pay for services from a mammogram to a mastectomy. With so many losing their jobs, this year has been busier than ever.

“We’re getting a lot of calls from ladies who’ve never been in this position before because they’ve always had health insurance," Bogie said. "And now it’s time for their mammogram or a check-up and they don’t have the means to pay for it.”

Another problem from the pandemic is the struggle to avoid layoffs. Billingsley said, so far, eight percent of nonprofits had to lay off employees. But those could be crucial positions.

“You may have a social worker that has a very specific expertise level and if you lose that person, it’s not easy to replace that," Billingsley said.

Those who give so much are asking you to help them out this holiday season. Whether it’s $20 or $200, every little bit helps.

“We just need $150 to help one woman completely and that’s huge," Bogie said.

“Making a charitable contribution maybe in someone’s name, in someone’s honor, you know, that might be the ultimate holiday gift this year," Billingsley said.

To donate to Oklahoma Project Woman, click here. For more information about the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits and the nonprofits it works with, click here.

Billingsley also suggest reaching out to your local United Way to donate.

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