Meet Heather, Maya, Amelio, Alex, Naomi, Francesco and Daisy
Not everyone is born with the resources to succeed. Many people across the country, and in our own community, are made to feel invisible because of environmental circumstances. But the truth is, all people are capable of greatness. All communities are filled with beauty. And the Y is dedicated to helping people grow.
More than 600,000 Oklahomans live in poverty and 15.5% of households are food insecure. In many instances, something as basic as a bed is a luxury for some families.
Heather and her six children are one of those families.
The Y’s Year Round Food program has been in existence since 2012, and since that time, more than 165,000 meals and snacks have been served and more than 4,050 children have been fed.
The Y discovered a tremendous need in the Oak Grove community in 2015 and launched the Pop-Up Food and Fun program, providing school-age children with a full meal, homework assistance and enrichment activities after school every weekday. Over time, the Y was also able to serve the families by providing Christmas gifts to the children in the community through an Angel Tree program.
It was through the Angel Tree that the staff at the Y met Maya, one of Heather’s three daughters. Maya was one of the dozens of children in the complex who listed a bed on her Christmas wish list. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that many children in the complex had been sleeping on tile floors every night because they didn’t have a mattress. Because of the enormous need in the Oak Grove community, the Y created the Sleep to Succeed program, knowing that no child can truly succeed in school if they do not get a good night’s sleep.
Thanks to a partnership with the City of Oklahoma City Housing Authority, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, the Dell Corporation and Mathis Brothers Furniture, the Y has provided beds and bedding essentials to 242 children over the past year, with plans for more deliveries in 2017.
“I have been overwhelmed with the generosity of the Y and the volunteers,” said Heather. “The food that my kids receive after school every day is such a big help, and now they don’t have to sleep on the floor anymore! I’m so incredibly thankful.”