Category Archives: Donors

Donors Invited to Help Nonprofits Earn More Than $1 Million in Matching Grant Donations

Paul and Ann Milburn at Children's Hospital
The late Paul Milburn and his wife, Ann, are longtime supporters of the Children’s Hospital Foundation, providing funding for four endowed chairs. Most recently, matching grant opportunities of more than $1 million have been made available for 14 charitable organizations through the Milburn’s donor advised fund at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.

Late Shawnee businessman Paul Milburn’s charitable fund, administered by the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, recently announced it will match more than $1 million in gifts to 14 charitable organizations. The matching grant opportunity offers donors who wish to support these organizations a dollar-for-dollar match up to a specified amount for charitable gifts made through June 30, 2019.

Organizations were invited to apply for the match opportunity based on the charitable interests specified by Milburn in his estate plan. An Oklahoma native, Milburn was the founder of Paul Milburn Acreages, through which he purchased, developed, sold and financed land throughout Pottawatomie County and the surrounding area. His work funded his passion to “make a difference” where it is most needed. Inspired by the philanthropy of Oklahoma City Community Foundation founder John E. Kirkpatrick, Milburn established the matching grant opportunity through his estate plans to continue supporting the organizations he cared about in life.

“Similar to Mr. Kirkpatrick, Paul recognized that we all have a shared responsibility to help our community,” said Nancy B. Anthony, Oklahoma City Community Foundation President. “They wanted to provide a way to help charitable organizations engage a broad base of contributors from the community, as well as help others make a difference.”

In addition to the matching grant opportunities, the fund will award grants of $125,000 to the Salvation Army of Shawnee, Oklahoma, and $50,000 to bring a lectureship on adolescent medicine to The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City.

Following are the charitable organizations eligible for matching donations, as well as the matching grant amounts. Individuals interested in contributing toward the matches may contact each organization individually.

  • Baptist Home for Girls (Madill, Oklahoma) – $25,000 to support the all-girls residential campus of Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children.
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shawnee – $25,000 to support mentorship programs for youth in Shawnee, Oklahoma.
  • Boys Ranch Town (Edmond, Oklahoma) – $25,000 to support the all-boys residential campus and working ranch of Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children.
  • Groundswell International – $125,000 to strengthen sustainable agriculture and promote healthy food systems in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Junior Achievement of Oklahoma – $7,500 to provide programs on financial literacy, workforce readiness and entrepreneurship to public school students in Shawnee and Pottawatomie County.
  • Lions Meadows of Hope (Perkins, Oklahoma) – $250,000 to support their endowment fund at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation and $200,000 to support programming at the foster care community.
  • Neighborhood Services Organization (Oklahoma City) – $100,000 to support housing solutions for at-risk and homeless individuals, and to launch a vocational training and development program.
  • Oklahoma Lions KidSight (Oklahoma City) – $25,000 to support vision screening for preschool and school-age children throughout the state.
  • Pambe Ghana (Oklahoma City) – $30,000 to provide teacher training, library services and other support for the La’Angum Learning Center providing primary education for children in Northern Ghana.
  • Pottawattamie County Historical Society (Shawnee, Oklahoma) – $25,000 to support their endowment fund at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.
  • TEEM – The Education and Employment Ministry (Oklahoma City) – $25,000 to support job training and housing assistance to help incarcerated individuals re-enter society.
  • The United Methodist Boys Ranch (Gore, Oklahoma) – $25,000 to support the campus-based foster care program operated by the Oklahoma United Methodist Circle of Care.
  • Water4 (Oklahoma City) – $25,000 to support their endowment fund at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation and $75,000 to provide access to sustainable, safe water for people living in Ghana.
  • Westview Boys Home (Hollis, Oklahoma) – $25,000 to support the nonprofit, residential child care agency in southwest Oklahoma.

Local Family Awards $600,000 in Grants to Help End Generational Poverty in Central Oklahoma

Rees family watches a mother push her daughter on a swing in the park
Ken Rees and daughter Susan Wright look on as a recent ReMerge graduate plays with her daughter. The Rees family uses their advised fund at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation to award multi-year grants to organizations like ReMerge that are working to end generational poverty in central Oklahoma. (Photo by Brandon Snider)

Oklahoma City-area philanthropists Ken and Gae Rees and family recently awarded $600,000 in grants from their donor advised fund at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation to two local organizations with programs that aim to end generational poverty in central Oklahoma.

Through the Ken and Gae Rees Family Fund, the family awarded a three-year $500,000 grant to Parent Promise for an in-home family support program designed to work with overburdened families who are at risk for child abuse and neglect. Originally the Exchange Club Center, Parent Promise has been helping at-risk families in Oklahoma County build resiliency and improve their education and employment situations for 30 years.

“The generosity of the Rees Family has allowed our organization to increase the number of children and families we serve and improve the effectiveness of our home-based parent support program,” said Sherry Fair, executive director of Parent Promise. “With the variety of programs we now offer, we can better meet the needs of more families and help more children break out of the vicious cycle of poverty on their journey to adulthood.”

In addition, the Rees family awarded a two-year $100,000 grant to Bridges of Norman to support a diversion and intervention program for students who are at risk for homelessness. For 20 years, Bridges has been helping teens in central Oklahoma complete high school and transition into contributing members of their community.

A graduate of Edmond Public Schools, Ken Rees and his wife, Gae, have helped launch and grow several community organizations including the Edmond Public Schools Foundation and the Edmond Fine Arts Institute. They established their advised fund at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation in 2003 to construct a model of giving for their family. In 2013, they launched a competitive grant process to award multi-year grants to charitable organizations working to break the cycle of generational poverty in central Oklahoma. Previously, the family awarded grants to the Boys and Girls Club of Oklahoma County and ReMerge Oklahoma.

“Our family decided long ago the focus of our giving would be to make a difference for those children and families who seemed to be trapped in poverty for more than one generation,” said Ken Rees. “We know that our efforts can only begin to make a difference, but we hope they may highlight successful strategies that more can get behind.”

“The Rees family is just one example of how the Community Foundation can help connect donors to causes they care about,” said Nancy Anthony, president of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation. “This generous family had a vision of how they wanted to help their community. We were honored to provide a charitable vehicle that helps them accomplish that.”