TULSA, Okla. — Now that Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday have all passed, many are turning to helping others.
Communities across the nation will be giving back through Giving Tuesday to their local organizations and non-profits for like The Center for Individuals with Physical Challenges and W. L. Hutcherson Family YMCA Branch.
This year, instead of just giving donations the traditional online way, the center is inviting the community to spend an evening with them in their newly expanded center for their “Eat, Drink and Be Here” event.
The theme is called “I am” movement which started with them asking their clients what they believed the community thought of them.
Executive Director Lori Long said they heard negative comments like, "I am stupid. I am weak".
Then they asked a different question.
“We asked them to consider turning that into a positive “I am” statement. What do you think of yourself and what do you want the community to know? They came up with words like I am empowered. I am resilient. I am strong. I am beautiful. I am a survivor," said Long.
Rosa Ann Bolin has been a client at The Center for more than two decades.
She said the "I Am" movement helped her realize that she could do anything.
"It basically told me that the sky is the limit," said Bolin. "I mean, the only person stopping you is you and that’s why I wanted to be a part of the empowerment.
The clients, like Bolin, then used the positive statements to paint self-portraits which now hang in the new area of the center.
The YMCA is also doing things a little differently this year by giving back to their families through a book drive.
Senior Vice-President of Operations Matt Hancock said they wanted the dozens of children who attend their Early Childhood Center to have a head start before entering pre-school through literacy.
They're asking for new or gently used books for children ages 0-5, with a goal of receiving 500 books.
“The overall benefit of this was to create a home libraries for families not just to have a book to take home but to build their own libraries in their household," said Hancock. "Also engaging not just in literacy but engaging in family engagement.”
The YMCA plans to keep an active tally on their Facebook for the community to see how many books are being donated throughout the day.
You can drop books off at any of their three locations.
If you’d like to make monetary donations to YMCA or The Center and other programs in Green Country, click here.
If you'd like more information on The Center's “Eat, Drink and Be Here” event, click here.
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