In March of 2021, the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City partnered with the Inasmuch Foundation and McLaughlin Family Foundation to provide a free sports league of third and fourth-grade students in the Oklahoma Public Schools district. In the midst of Covid and a school system trying to reopen, the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City stepped into the murky waters, partnering with others, to create an opportunity for kids on the margins to experience the joy of sports. What began with 12 elementary schools, has now grown to encompass close to 35 elementary schools in the OKCPS district.
While the sports program at the beginning ran similar to the Y sports programs, eventually, the director, DaMone Redd Sr, adapted this program to become a program that is different from the way the Y has done things. He is purposefully developing community leaders, teachers, and parents into coaches and mentors for these children. The sports teams look like those in their community and are led by those in their community.
It is a beautiful sight to see how DaMone has impacted the OKC schools as an agent in God’s mission to heal OKC. He has broken down barriers and walls by demonstrating the inclusiveness of God’s love with his intentionality from the presentation of their uniforms individually bundled and labeled to gameday presentation, to other events they host for the school, to show these students that there are people who care for them. By doing so, DaMone has shown us what it means and what it takes to be an agent in God’s mission to heal the world, specifically heal OKC.