Category Archives: Wellness

More than $300,000 Awarded to 14 Charities

People practicing dance
Members of the Golden Swans – Oklahoma City Ballet’s outreach program for elderly and Alzheimer’s sufferers – practice their skills. Oklahoma City Ballet is one of Oklahoma City Community Foundation’s most recent grantees.

The Oklahoma City Community Foundation recently awarded more than $300,000 to 14 charitable organizations in central Oklahoma. The Services to Elderly iFund program, Access to Health Care iFund program and Wellness Initiative award grants to organizations that support independent living for the elderly, promote wellness and exercise, provide social and recreational opportunities and give access to health care.

“Seniors are in need of programs that help them to live happy, healthy lives,” says Whitney Moore, development director for recent grant recipient Oklahoma City Ballet. “Remaining active as seniors age is very important in maintaining their independence and health.”

The Community Foundation’s Elderly Services iFund program supports organizations that provide direct services for our community’s older citizens who still live in their homes. By supporting wellness and exercise activities, this program helps to allow independent living to continue and provides positive social and recreational opportunities improving their quality of life.

“Oklahoma City is continually listed as one of the nation’s least healthy cities. The Oklahoma City Community Foundation is actively working to change this by creating a culture of health and wellness in central Oklahoma,” Oklahoma City Community Foundation President Nancy B. Anthony said. “We are pleased to work with charitable organizations that share our vision and provide creative solutions to improve the lives of citizens in our community.”

The following grants were awarded:

Wellness Initiative

Mercy Health Foundation Oklahoma City – $30,000 for the FUN (Fitness, Understanding Health and Nutrition) Project to provide school-based nutrition, physical education and summer family wellness activities with the Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation to at-risk youth in Oklahoma City.

Services for the Elderly iFund

American Red Cross of Central Oklahoma – $12,500 for a campaign to prevent home fires among elderly residents.

NewView Oklahoma – $20,000 for a medication management program for seniors who are vision-impaired.

Oklahoma City Ballet – $10,000 for the Golden Swans program providing ballet classes to help improve senior mobility.

Rebuilding Together OKC – $20,000 to provide critical heating, cooling and electrical repairs to low-income seniors allowing them to remain safe, warm and dry in their homes.

Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma – $20,000 to provide nutritious food and healthy living resources to low-income seniors.

The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command – $15,000 to support the Senior Watch program that provides immediate, short-term assistance for seniors in need of additional household, emotional or spiritual support.

Access to Health Care iFund

A Chance to Change – $24,000 for a telehealth project to provide remote substance abuse and mental health therapy sessions for clients who are unable to attend in-person treatment.

Fundacion Manos Juntas – $21,000 to support a diabetes management and education program for diabetic and pre-diabetic patients at the Manos Juntas Free Clinic in Oklahoma City.

Harold Hamm Diabetes Center at OUHSC – $25,000 to expand a diabetes prevention program for individuals at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.

Latino Community Development Agency – $30,000 to provide breast and cervical cancer education, screening, referrals and comprehensive patient navigations for Hispanic women in central Oklahoma.

Neighborhood Services Organization – $40,000 for a dental outreach and education program for low-income children and adults throughout Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma Dental Foundation – $40,000 to support the MobileSmiles dental clinic providing dental treatment and preventative oral health education to low-income children at Oklahoma City Public Schools.

Skyline Urban Ministry – $5,000 to support a wellness program providing health screenings, education, nutrition and physical activities for at-risk citizens.

Taking Action Toward a Healthier Community

MetroFit Zumba class
Zumba class at the Metrofit Wellness Community Outreach Program has participants dancing their way to a healthier way of lifestyle.

With the nation’s eighth-highest obesity rate, Oklahoma continues to face challenges in improving the health of our residents. The Oklahoma City Community Foundation has joined forces with local organizations to take action to create a healthier community. Through our Wellness Initiative, we support community-based programs that make it easier for citizens to engage in a sustainable course of daily exercise, healthy eating and other wellness activities, minimizing the potential of future illness and disease. Since 2014, we have awarded $476,984 in grants to 14 organizations to support community wellness programs.

One Wellness Initiative grant recipient that is making a difference in the health of Oklahoma City residents is Metro Technology Centers. The Oklahoma City Community Foundation has awarded $60,000 in grants to the organization to support a free community wellness program. The MetroFit program offers a variety of free fitness classes to the public at Metro Tech’s Springlake and South Bryant campuses. Since the program began, participants have reported an overall increase in regular physical activity, with 14 percent of attendees exercising more than four hours per week.

“The MetroFit program has more than doubled in capacity and enhanced the lives of our community through physical activity and nutritional education, which resulted in lowering blood pressure, reducing cholesterol, weight loss, enhancing self-esteem and so much more,” said Valerie McMurry, Metro Technology Centers Wellness Coordinator. “Our MetroFit Wellness Community program expansion could not have been possible without the financial support of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.”

Organizations interested in collaborating to improve health outcomes for Oklahomans are welcome to join our Central Oklahoma Wellness Alliance by contacting Sally Ray, at 405/606-2930. Groups with community-based wellness programs interested in applying for a grant can learn more at occf.org/wellnessinitiative. Individuals looking to participate in community wellness activities can visit GetMovingOKC.org for an event calendar, as well as information about trails, parks, and other facilities where residents can get moving.