Make #GivingTuesday POWERFUL.

Have you heard of Giving Tuesday? Every year, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving is set aside for people to give to causes they care about. There's Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday.

Neighbors like Virginia need our help. Make your donation TWICE as powerful on Tuesday!

Neighbors like Virginia need our help. Make your donation TWICE as powerful on Tuesday!

Every dollar you raise for Serve More on Giving Tuesday will be matched! DOUBLED!!

Facebook and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have promised to match every dollar* raised through the Facebook Fundraiser platform on Giving Tuesday! If you raise $250 for Serve More on Facebook, it suddenly becomes $500! Raise $1,000? BOOM! $2,000!!

Listen, it's SUPER easy to tell people why Serve More is important to you. And it's SUPER easy for them to chip in a few dollars to your Facebook Fundraiser. But I need you to not ignore this email — I need you to set up a quick Facebook Fundraiser and ask your friends to support the work to #LoveYourNeighbor.

Practice setting up your Fundraiser today. 
BUT wait till Giving Tuesday to launch so every dollar is doubled!


When you head to Facebook, look for the "Create Fundraiser" button either on Desktop or Mobile. You're just a few steps away from supporting a great cause!

  1. Be sure "Serve More" is your selected nonprofit.
  2. Choose your Goal.
  3. Choose your Fundraiser's end date.
  4. Next, tell people WHY you want them to donate to Serve More!
  5. Pick a photo for your Fundraiser header. 
  6. Click CREATE! 


*Facebook and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are matching donations through the Facebook Fundraising platform on Giving Tuesday. They will match $1,000 of each Fundraiser up to $50,000 per nonprofit.


Facebook Not Your Jam?

If you're not about starting a Facebook Fundraiser, you can always give to Serve More the good ol' fashioned way. Mail a check, make a donation online; whichever works best for you! 

Check out our Give page to see stories of ways Serve More loves neighbors all over the OKC metro. You can also give to any program that means the most to you. If you're mailing a check, make it out to Serve More and drop it in the mail to 224 S Chestnut Ave, Moore OK 73160

Harvey Update #1

Today we're deploying our rapid response software, Pairs, and other digital assets to support our friends responding to Hurricane Harvey in two Texas communities. These are tools we used and created in 2013 during our own response to the Moore/South OKC Tornado that we are committed to share with neighbors who are working to recover from disasters of their own.

Donate to our disaster response efforts to deploy digital response and send leaders to assist in recovery.

The Full Story

As we posted a few days ago, we're in touch with our friends on the ground in and around Houston responding to Hurricane Harvey. Our friends on the ground include our hometown Deputy Emergency Manager Debi Wagner as part of an Oklahoma Incident Management Team sent to support work in Rockport, TX as well as Disaster Relief At Work (DRAW) setting up operations in Sugarland, TX. DRAW and their Director Greg Martin spent time with us in 2013 and again in 2015 responding to Oklahoma tornadoes. 

texas flooding hurricane donate local

To the communities of Rockport and Fulton, we've sent our Volunteer Reception Center plans and forms. These will help the City and Chamber mobilize people to start cleanup with their neighbors. The goal of volunteers in any disaster response is to help people clean up and begin recovery but disaster zones are dangerous places. These digital files will help leaders form solid plans for mobilization and keep volunteers and neighbors safe as they work together.

The Magic of Software

Our very first view of Pairs running on iPads donated by Verizon during 2013 Tornado Response.

Our very first view of Pairs running on iPads donated by Verizon during 2013 Tornado Response.

To the community of Sugarland and for our friends at DRAW, we're deploying Pairs, our rapid response software for connecting people who need help with those looking to give help. In 2013, an Oklahoma City company called Rehash was working with us to respond to devastating tornadoes. As we tracked names and addresses in a Google Sheet and matched them with signatures on paper releases, they couldn't shake the idea of "this could be faster, better, and more secure." And so Pairs was born.

This web app, designed to run on tablets out in the field, allowed volunteers to scout neighborhoods for needs faster than ever. When they found someone who needed volunteer help, they entered all the neighbor's contact info and get a short description of the task. Then, right there the neighbor would sign to give volunteers permission to work on their home. The new work order was immediately sent to our headquarters and a team would be dispatched to meet the need — sometimes in as little as 30 minutes!

So how does all this help Texas?

The guys at Rehash are at it again and together, we're standing up a fresh version of Pairs for use in Texas Flood Recovery. This cloud-based database will allow volunteers to use tablets or smartphones to gather information about the needs of neighbors in the areas to which they're responding. It means faster, better, safer volunteer mobilization — no waiting for papers to come back, accurate tracking of projects and hours, no losing signatures in the chaos, solid followup with people they've helped already,

We're grateful to get to deploy these tools to other communities as they grapple with disasters. And we're committed to sharing our experience as a grassroots disaster response nonprofit. So our leaders plan to be on calls supporting this software deployment and are beginning plans to travel to Texas to support volunteer mobilization on the ground. 

Help us cover the costs of standing up this new Texas version of our software and maintaining the cloud-based database for these organizations. You'll also be giving to our efforts to send Serve More leaders and volunteers to assist in Harvey Recovery. 

 

For questions, you can always email chris@servemore.co
To donate by check, make it payable to Serve More and send it to 224 S Chestnut Ave, Moore OK 73160

Janettee & Nathan

Early last month, Janettee reached out to Serve More with a desperate request. She and her husband Nathan had been given an ultimatum to make repairs on their home or suffer criminal prosecution and eviction. Old, rotting siding, warping facia boards, and peeling paint had caught the attention of city inspectors. So for nearly a year, they'd been trying to make repairs to their home that would stop the code violation citations from the city. Then, inspectors gave them a deadline of July 27th to make all the needed repairs and paint. 

With two small kids and what seemed like never enough time and never enough money, they had been looking for some help to stop the tickets. 

Look at these photos from the day we first met Janettee & Nathan:

Few people realize this but when you live in a city, you live under municipal codes such as "No Deferred Maintenance." That means missing siding or peeling paint can earn you a citation — a ticket you must pay, just like a speeding ticket. But what happens if you don't have the cash or supplies to make those repairs right away? Or working two or more jobs means it's tough to fit that project in to your schedule? Well, the tickets continue to come.

That's exactly what happened to this family. Several tickets in, this situation became a disaster. See, after issuing several citations, city officials can write an eviction notice or threaten criminal prosecution. Since Janettee and Nathan didn't have the cash, supplies, or time to make the repairs, they now faced arrest for their mounting tickets or worse, being kicked out of their home with their two kids. 

But there's hope. 

This is why we launched our Neighborhood Renewal program — to provide critical home repairs to families facing eviction or unsafe living conditions. Not everyone has a neighbor who can help or even wants to help families like this. Jeanettee & Nathan's neighborhood is made up largely of elderly folks and single moms. So Serve More Volunteers can step up and be great neighbors to these folks!

Check out the finished product once Serve More Volunteers fixed the siding and painted:

It's very likely that you and I both know what it's like to try to do a project for a while and have it just constantly escape us. But when that project getting done is the difference between you going to jail or continuing to provide for your kids, you need help.

Why give to Serve More? Why volunteer to love your neighbors? Because there are neighbors suffering disasters alone when all they need is a few pairs of hands and some donated materials. We must remember — in this city, we are all neighbors. 

Nathan and Janettee with their two kids in front of their completely renewed home. Serve More Volunteers were able to correct all the code violations that threatened the family's eviction. 

Nathan and Janettee with their two kids in front of their completely renewed home. Serve More Volunteers were able to correct all the code violations that threatened the family's eviction. 

The Final Piece of A Home

Close your eyes and imagine something. Think about your home and try to make a list in your head about everything in your home—every device, piece of clothing, tool, and toy. Now count the doors—yep, the doors, and the windows, ceiling fans, appliances, and furniture. Finally, imagine all of that gone and you're left with the task of replacing it all—often from that list in your head—with a set amount of money that will undoubtedly be too little.

Many of our neighbors faced that exact reality in the years since the 2013 Tornadoes in South OKC & Moore. Maybe YOU are reading this and that is EXACTLY what you had to do! The fact is that rebuilding a house after a disaster is one thing but rebuilding a home is sometimes another thing altogether. The list is incomplete, the money isn't enough, or there's simply no way to replace somethings that were lost. 

We’re getting our hands dirty and planting flowerbeds at homes rebuilt after the tornadoes.

But as neighbors, we want to love and serve. We want to make a house into a home again. So we're getting our hands dirty and planting flowerbeds at homes rebuilt after the tornadoes. Our hope is that we can give our neighbors one of the final pieces of their home. We want to bring beauty where there is pain; some emotional healing where there is hurt.

So which are you? A neighbor who had to rebuild your home after the tornadoes? Or a neighbor who wants to love and serve others by helping plant a flowerbed? Find extra information below and buttons to request a flowerbed or volunteer to help build one! 

Homeowner Details:

  • Flowerbeds are offered free of charge thanks to Rotary Clubs Western Oklahoma Dist.
  • Flowerbeds are planted at homes that were destroyed or received major damage in 2013 or 2015 tornadoes.
  • Beds are designed by a landscape architect and will be a mixture Oklahoma-native flowers and ornamental grasses.

Volunteer Details:

  • Flowerbed Projects are part of our monthly Serve More Saturday event where you can volunteer as a Project Volunteer.
  • Volunteers must be 14 years or older to work at project sites. 

May 20, 2013 — 4 Years Later

Hey friend.

Nearly four years ago, my town and my life was forever changed by a spring storm on a hot, humid day in May. An all too-familiar Oklahoma tornado ripped through homes, businesses, and schools. Since that day, you have joined with me to make people's lives better; to see them renewed. My story of the May 2013 Tornado is also YOUR story of the May 2013 Tornado. 

And oh boy has this story grown! There’s so much MORE to how we’re loving neighbors these days! We’re helping single moms and veterans avoid eviction by repairing their code violations. We’re giving our disabled neighbors more freedom by building them accessibility ramps. And even now, we’re preparing for the next tornado to hit central Oklahoma. But we have so much MORE we need and want to do!  

WATCH: See all the bright spots that have come out of that devastating tornado in just four years.

This only works if we are in it together — neighbor loving neighbor. So I'm asking you for a personal favor. Take 5 minutes and invite your Facebook friends to support this work to serve single moms, disabled neighbors, and the elderly. If you know me, you know I don't want this to be slimy. Ever. We have a chance to do something incredible. And you can honor your time spent doing Tornado Recovery in Moore and OKC by launching a Facebook Fundraiser this week — the 4 Year Mark of that devastating tornado. 

I'm forever grateful for your love and support. You each have meant so much to me as Serve More has grown and you've meant so much to these central Oklahoma communities that are better places to live because of you.

—Chris Fox, Serve More Co-Founder & Executive Director

Give to Serve More. Have More Fun.

UPDATE: OKC Energy pledged have been MATCHED!

Grab the app and make a pledge! Up to $100 in pledges will be DOUBLED!

Serve More's new partnership with The Drive App let's you do just that while you watch some of your favorite sports events! It's super easy to make a pledge that will give your neighbors the help they need. 

1. Make a Pledge

Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

Choose a Serve More cause that's important to you. Then just pledge a donation for every win, touchdown, or goal! For example, you might pledge $5 for every three-pointer the OKC Thunder make!

2. Watch the Game

Get together with friends or family and enjoy the game! You'll watch your pledge play out on the court or field — and challenge your friends to join in the fun.

3. Give Back

All said and done, you can view, edit, or confirm your final pledge then the cash will be sent directly to Serve More. You'll be feeling good about a great game and a great donation!

It's that easy! Give it a try today!


A little about The Drive App:

Our goal is to empower communities to come together and make philanthropy a part of their game day routine. We recognized an issue with fundraising. Even with all the new technology on the market, there was still not a simple, intuitive way to give to charity. In addition, the process was uneventful. We realized if we could integrate a game aspect, people would be more inclined to give. What emerged was The Drive – a network for donors to connect with charities and give based on the outcome of a sporting event. We merged sports and fundraising to create a gamified giving experience donors love and trust!

A little about Serve More:


We're on a mission to empower people to love their neighbors. For more than three years now, we've been seeing neighbors loving and serving neighbors. Because of that, we've seen incredible life change and communities renewed. Now, we want to see the renewal that was born in our neighborhoods we love in the City of Moore spread to all of central Oklahoma.

Let's say "BYE" 👋 to 2016...

It’s been a big year for us.

With your help, we reunited a family with their quadriplegic son.
We gave disabled neighbors more freedom
We made single moms proud of their homes
We granted a woman’s dying wish.
We almost lost — but then SAVED — Serve Moore. 

And, let’s not forget, we relaunched so we could Serve More.

 

Now, we’ve got even bigger dreams for 2017.

We’re expanding volunteer projects to even more neighborhoods next year. We will help renew school buildings and community centers. We will build new accessibility ramps. And we’re gearing up for what’s looking to be a very active tornado season next Spring. All this in an effort to love our neighbors more.

All these dreams turned into reality because of you. Neighbors were loved and served because you gave or you volunteered — or BOTH! This is YOUR nonprofit and we’ve done all this beautiful, important work together. So, thank you. Thanks for your unwavering support and your commitment to seeing your neighbors loved.

 

Let’s make 2017 Serve More’s best year yet.

Serving our neighbors costs money. But not a lot. We push every dollar to make sure we’re getting the most bang for the buck. In fact, there’s a list below of just how little it costs to make a HUGE impact on your community. Check it out:

$25 One Volunteer trained to respond to house fires & tornados.
$250 Home of a Disaster Victim secured and precious belongings saved.
$500 Home of a struggling Single Mom made safe and beautiful through repairs.
$1000 New freedom for a Disabled Veteran with an ADA-compliant accessibility ramp.

How much can you give? Can you give freedom to a disabled vet? Or could you train a Disaster Volunteer to help in times of trouble? Maybe you could give safety to a single mom? With just a few more days left in the 2016 Tax Year, consider making a tax-deductible donation today!

It's Giving Tuesday!

Give just $10 today and we'll send you the gift below to show our thanks!

Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone. Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed. But now it's time for Giving Tuesday — the day we remember to give to others because we're thankful for all we have. For us at Serve More, that means giving more neighbors are loved and served. Watch this:

Your donation means more neighbors like Rickey get help in times of disaster. More elderly neighbors like Sue getting the vital home repairs they need. And more of our disabled neighbors like Jazmine being given freedom and accessibility in their homes!

Make a donation to Serve More today, on Giving Tuesday, and we'll put it to work serving neighbors all over central Oklahoma. And we'll even put this Serve More Scout Book + 2 Stickers in the mail to you to show our thanks.

Community renewal starts with you but it ends with whole neighborhoods being restored by the neighbors that love them.

 

We're thankful for our disabled neighbors.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! We truly have so much to be thankful for so Serve More is counting down the days to Giving Tuesday with a special series of blog posts about thankfulness. 

Today, we’re thankful for Sonja & Jazmine. For more than two years now, Jazmine has dealt with with tumors, spinal issues, and a neurological disease that gives her chronic pain. Multiple visits to doctors and hospitals landed Jazmine in a wheel chair just before her senior year in high school. So Sonja called us in 2014 asking about how volunteers might help her daughter get in and out of the house  so she could continue attending school.

We consider this a pivotal point in the history of Serve More. That phone call opened our minds to the power of volunteers and a wider mission of loving our neighbors through many kinds of disaster. Jazmine’s was the first wheelchair ramp Serve More Volunteers ever built. And this new passion for loving our disabled neighbors is what eventually gave birth to our Mobility & Accessibility program. 

These days, we’re serving neighbors all across central Oklahoma who are looking for more freedom to get in, around, and out of their homes. We’ve met teenagers disabled by disease or injury, veterans in need of modifications after returning home from battle, and elderly neighbors needing more accessibility in their homes. 

But we’re just getting started. Your donations make it possible for us to open this program up to disabled neighbors in need of volunteer help. This Giving Tuesday, you can create thankfulness among your neighbors with a small donation. 

Again, enjoy a wonderful holiday with your friends and family. We look forward to celebrating Giving Tuesday with you soon!

We're thankful for neighbors who ask for help.

We’re counting down to Giving Tuesday, a day that people all over country use to remember how thankful they are and to create thankfulness in others by giving. As we count down, we want to tell you some stories of our own thankfulness — neighbors and friends who’ve made this organization possible. 

Meet Rickey. His neighborhood is in need of renewal. The neighborhood is mostly poor families living in older homes in need of repair and beautification. Rickey himself is a single grandfather who cares for his grandkids part-time. Let me tell you something — we’re thankful for Rickey

We’re thankful for his huge heart and joyful smile. We’re thankful that he cares for his grandkids and his neighbors. But we’re also thankful he asked for help. Neighbors asking for help is the very first step in the process of community renewal. Without them, we wouldn’t have that spark that ignited the movement of Serve More for the south metro and that has now grown to all of central Oklahoma. 

Here’s the deal. When Rickey asked for help, Serve More Volunteers were able to respond because together, we’ve all worked hard to set up our nonprofit to love our neighbors. We’ve secured tools and supplies to do the work. We’ve purchased materials for repairs. We’ve accepted donations to coordinate teams of volunteers. In short, we couldn’t have done it — nor continue to do it for the rest of Rickey’s neighborhood — without your donation. 

Prepare for Giving Tuesday. Donors and Volunteers have already created thankfulness in Rickey’s life. Will you consider making a donation to renew the rest of Rickey’s neighborhood and create even more thankfulness? 

We simply can't do it without you.


Summer of Sheds

One very important part of the recovery and renewal effort in our city has been replacing or creating storage for our impacted neighbors. Storage can be an afterthought in times of disaster but often even more storage is needed following a disaster than was needed before.

We've heard from many homeowners in need of storage. Most lost their sheds in the storms. Some are forced to pay a new monthly bill to keep a storage unit; still others are moving back into a smaller home and need additional storage.

What is provided?

Through incredible partnerships with the Moore/Shawnee Tornado Relief Fund and the Tulsa Community Foundation, Serve Moore will provide all the materials for an 8ft by 12ft wooden shed and the volunteer teams to build and paint the shed! The process takes a few weeks for some application information and verification. Once we start construction, we typically build a shed in 4 or 5 days, depending on the volunteer team skill and size.

Who qualifies?

To qualify for a shed through this program, your household must have been impacted in the May 2013 tornadoes in South OKC, Moore, and Shawnee (plus communities along the entire path of the storm). We'd ask that you meet one of the following qualifications:

  • Your onsite, outdoor storage was destroyed as a result of the tornado; or
  • You relocated or rebuilt to less square footage; or
  • You pay or are risk of paying a monthly storage fee as a result of the tornado.

How do I sign up? 

If you meet these qualifications or have questions about them, please give us a few pieces of information to get started. We'll be in touch to talk through your questions. After we determine your qualification, you'll be emailed or mailed an application to complete. 

Paint The Town New

We're excited to announce a dream for this year — 

We're going to paint 100 homes by the end of 2016.

We're calling it our dream to Paint The Town New!

In communities throughout central Oklahoma — from Moore to Edmond, in Classen Ten Penn, in Capitol Hill — there are neighborhoods of homes that need a little TLC. As years pass between coats of paint on the outside of a home, paint cracks and fades losing it's color and beauty. Worse still, those cracks and peeling cause energy loss, moisture buildup, and can even result in a fine from city code enforcement. 

Sadly, many of these homes belong to the elderly or disabled who likely lack the energy or ability to apply a new coat of paint and seal up windows and trim. Or consider single moms or dads who work full time and are the only parent to care for kiddos. Time is a luxury many of them don't have. And let's not forget those families who are struggling to stretch every paycheck. They simply cannot afford to paint the outside of their home.
 

Enter Serve Moore Volunteers

With more than 500 Spring & Summer volunteers scheduled and incredible partnerships like Wooster Brush Company, we're ready renew and beautify 100 homes in neighborhoods across central Oklahoma. We want people to feel good about the house they call home. We also want that house to be energy efficient and to stay dry. This is the first step toward community renewal in these towns and neighborhoods. We hope the power of the volunteer inspires whole blocks to get involved to make their neighborhoods safe, lovely, renewed places. 
 

Who qualifies?

To qualify for our Paint The Town new initiative, we ask that your household be in central Oklahoma (the OKC Metro area) and that someone living in your home be any one of the following:

  • physically or mentally disabled
  • elderly (60 or more years old)
  • a single parent with minor children
  • veterans of of the United States Armed Forces
  • living at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level

Ideally, volunteer services can be provided to individuals or families who own their homes. If you are in need and are a renter, please still apply but all rental property applications will be decided on a case-by-case basis and we make no guarantee that we can or will work with your landlord.

For questions about the application or services, please call Serve Moore at (405) 735-3060.
 

Wanna get involved?

Do you want to apply to have your house painted? Here's the button for you! More info below.

Want to jump in and grab a brush to renew homes and communities in central Oklahoma?! Sure you do.

Would you like your company involved with volunteers or as a sponsor of this initiative? 

How To Make A Teenager Speechless

If you've seen anything about Serve Moore in the last three months, you've probably seen our work to #BringJannehHome

Just before his 13th birthday back in June, Janneh was paralyzed by a gunshot while riding his bike around his dad's snowcone stand in South OKC. After some pretty intense surgeries and months of rehab, he was nearly ready to come home. Just one problem — nothing about his two story house was ready for a quadriplegic in a motorized wheelchair. Almost $20,000 worth of modifications stood between Janneh's parents and bringing their oldest son home. 

One of Janneh's physical therapy assistants had heard about the incredible work of Serve Moore volunteers in repairing homes and neighborhoods impacted by tornadoes in 2013 & 2015. So she made a phone call — just in case. Maybe this organization who had mobilized thousands of volunteers for one kind of disaster could help in this one. So we got to work.

Now, after $15,000 in donations, 268 donors from around the world, 120 days of construction, 43 volunteers and volunteer contractors, 4 little brothers and sisters, 2 grateful parents, and 1 surprise visit from Russell Westbrook — Janneh is home!

The Children's Center Rehabilitation Center wished him a tearful goodbye this morning and our staff alongside our incredible partners Kendra with Home Mods by Therapists and Wes with KG Construction Services welcomed him home to see his new home and room for the first time! THIS, ladies and gentlemen, is how you make a firecracker of a teenager speechless! For the first time since we met Janneh, he simply didn't know what to say. 

We'll be sharing a video of the event very soon. Until then, enjoy the photos of our little Welcome Home Janneh party!

We can't say THANK YOU enough to all the incredible partners and friends that made this possible. Janneh's parents want you to know that you've made their house a renewed home now that all their kids are back together under one roof.

If you'd like to chip in a few dollars to help us pay for final inspections & plumbing on this project, you can! We'd be so grateful for your support.

Year-End Gifts Help Everyone!

Before we know it, the ball will drop on 2015 and we'll be ringing in a new year full of opportunities and stories. Well, at least most everywhere else it drops. Here in Oklahoma City, it rises but that's another story for another time.

The point is that many people make charitable gifts in the last few days of each year. Those gifts, if made before the stroke of midnight will be counted toward your personal Charitable Contributions Statement for Tax Year 2015. For some, that can be an important deduction for, and mean a real difference on, their tax return. 

But honestly, you and I both know it doesn't stop there. No, not at all. 

Giving a charitable contribution almost always means more than just a tax break. For example, at Serve Moore, when you give $1 we turn that dollar into $3 in benefit for people and families affected by disasters, disability, and poverty. That's WAY more than just a deduction on a tax return. 

So, before that ball drops (or rises) on this year, slip in one more donation. It'll be good for your taxes, your heart, and VERY good for hurting families and people in central Oklahoma. Here are some good ideas:

The fund that allows us to mobilize volunteers any day of the year.

Our campaign to renew the home and life of a 13-year-old quadriplegic.