Category Archives: Philanthropy

How to Help With Hurricane Recovery Efforts

The devastation of hurricanes Harvey and Irma has launched a surge in charitable giving to assist those impacted by the catastrophic storms. Currently, attention is appropriately focused on providing immediate relief including shelter, food, water and other basic needs. In our experience with disaster recovery, we have learned the majority of initial funding following a disaster targets these immediate relief efforts. Disaster events also create many long-term recovery needs including rebuilding homes, businesses and infrastructure, and mental and physical health issues that can last for months and even years.

If you would like to contribute to the hurricane recovery efforts, following are charitable funds providing support for both early relief and long-term recovery efforts.

Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Irma

Find more information on when, how and where to give following disasters at the Center for Disaster Philanthropy. If you have a donor advised fund at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, you can recommend a grant to one of these recovery funds by logging into your DonorCentral account or calling us at 405/235-5603.

Investing in Education Through Scholarships

Kelly Guyen with Linda Brinkworth and Phyllis Bennett
Phyllis Bennett (right) and daughter Linda Brinkworth (middle) are two scholarship donors who are helping Kelly Nguyen (left) follow her dreams. Photo by Brandon Snider.

The commonalities that exist between Owen Bennett and Kelly Nguyen aren’t easily recognizable. Owen, from Holdenville, Oklahoma, was a veteran, beloved husband and father of three. Kelly is a 2016 graduate of Edmond Memorial High School and is pursuing an engineering degree from Colorado School of Mines. Both Kelly and Owen, however, grew up in single-parent families. Both have witnessed the struggles faced by those who lack higher education, and both have been fearless and victorious when facing childhood adversities. Their past comparisons aren’t the only thing binding Kelly to Owen and his family, though. Kelly is a recipient of the Bennett Family Scholarship that is helping fund her education, overcome barriers and prepare her for a better future.

After Owen’s death in 2015, his wife, Phyllis, and their children, Linda, Lyle and Rob, wanted to establish a scholarship to reflect the values their family was built on and help single-parent students. Linda knew about the Oklahoma City Community Foundation and spoke with her attorney about the fund options. After they learned a scholarship fund required no administrative work from the family, they needed little convincing that it was the right path for them.

The Bennett Family Scholarship at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation benefits children of single parents who intend to pursue studies in the field of education, science, technology, engineering or mathematics. Each area of study is related to the career or background of a Bennett family member.

“We understand the financial hardships that single-parent families endure and we want to help,” said Linda. “The Bennett Family Scholarship mirrors our family values and what we stand for.”

Kelly says that receiving the scholarship has been a great source of inspiration and motivation.

“Overcoming the barriers in my childhood has motivated me to attain success at the highest level,” said Kelly. “Instead of letting my past define me, I learned to empower myself through improving my community and helping others. I intend to spend my life dedicated to that endeavor, and I take pride in these accomplishments that, ironically, derived from overcoming adversity.”

Learn more about our scholarship program and find out how we can help you make a difference in the lives of students in our 2017 Scholarship Review.