Doing Our Part For The Future of Oklahoma Education

Classroom

Like many of you, Serve More staff and volunteers have watched the last several weeks of political news unfold here in Oklahoma. Educators have finally had enough of working with shrinking budgets.. Today, across the state and in all of the communities we serve, teachers and administrators have walked out and begun to march on the Capitol to demand action. 

And just like many of you as well, we've asked ourselves: "How can we help? How can we serve?" Apart from being parents, teachers, and citizens ourselves, Serve More volunteers and staff know that we can leverage our expertise in neighborhood renewal to give educators every possible tool they can use to invest in our children and serve the future of Oklahoma.

So, today we're announcing School Projects — a way for classroom teachers and school administrators to request the help of Serve More Volunteers. 

We're already in the planning stages of some playground renewal projects with our friends at the Moore Public Schools Foundation but we want to do more. We want to serve and love our teachers and students by helping to prepare classrooms, to renew playgrounds, and to create innovative learning environments with ideas such as outdoor classrooms, learning gardens, and the like.

Soon, we will begin taking applications from educators and nominations from neighbors. But we'll need to be ready to buy paint, lumber, and supplies to pull these projects off. So if you'd like to chip in a small donation, we'll use it to renew classrooms, playgrounds, and campuses in central Oklahoma this year. Like any other effort, we can do more together than we ever could apart!

Help us do this part. Donate today and join us this summer to volunteer. 

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

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.

Serve Moore Beats the Heat

            When we receive a respite from the rain, what do we do? Offer Serve Moore volunteers some water then go out and work! This week, teams focused on debris removal, the Moore Food & Resource Center, tarping leaky roofs, and repair on a home that was still feeling the effects of the May 2013 tornado. After guzzling nearly 500 bottles of water, volunteers spent over 1,400 hours serving and saving the residents of Moore right at $20,000!

            In a feat of strength, IM Change Mission’s team removed a total of 10 tons of debris, 5 tons of that being metal in Forest Park Estates Mobile Home Park in SE OKC. This means each volunteer removed 645 pounds of debris! By completing 651 volunteer hours, this project saved residents almost $14,000!

            When some volunteers couldn’t stand the heat, they moved into the kitchen. The Moore Food & Resource Center, a branch of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, is a hunger relief agency in Moore. This Serve Moore partner is located on N. Shields Blvd and serves the south OKC metro. This week’s volunteer teams spent a combined 255 hours at the Food & Resource Center serving 10,535 meals to 129 families.

            Moore residents still feel effects from the May 2013 tornado, and Serve Moore volunteers still answer the call to help. Experience Mission’s team worked at a home rebuilding a fence and a shed. This added up to $3,000 of savings to the homeowner: $1,600 for the fence, and $1,400 for the shed. Although the monetary savings are major, the feeling of security from the fence, the extra space and organization from the shed, and the lasting impression these volunteers left on this homeowner are priceless.

            Experience Mission and IM Change volunteered their time, materials and labor to this week’s projects, and have changed the lives of local residents. Still, there is more work to be done. If you are interested in helping renew Moore in any way you can, whether that be with time or funds for supplies, contact us!



18 Months & Counting...

In the time since the May 2013 tornados, so much has been accomplished! 50,000 volunteers have met more than 4,000 needs for 2,200 residents. They've built fences, storage sheds, playgrounds, gardens, and benches. They've hung drywall, rolled paint, laid tile, nailed shingles, and installed siding. Hundreds of homes and public spaces stand renewed because of volunteer efforts.

But much is left to be done.

Our list of needs is stacking up. Residents call Serve Moore HQ regularly asking for volunteer help to finish their recovery and move back into their home. Some have run out of insurance money (which was lacking to begin with); others have been victims of contractor fraud; and still others simply didn't know where to look for help until now.

That's where you come in.

We're asking for your help to attack some of the needs on our list. Ideally, we're looking for teams of 8 to 10 people to give 2 or 3 days serving alongside us. These needs require some skill but if each team has a few skilled folks, we've found that works out just fine. We're listing some of the specifics below but a few ideas that top the list are -- 40 sheds to build -- a dozen fences to build -- lots of sheets of drywall to hang. 

Would you consider organizing a small group of volunteers out of your church, civic organization, workplace, or family? We'll be working on projects all through the winter (for the most part, Oklahoma winters are mild) and into the Spring. We would love to help these tornado victims finish off their recovery and get back to a somewhat-normal life.

Jobs We Need To Do:

  • Build 40 Sheds
  • Hang Drywall
  • Build Privacy Fences
  • Build a Handicap Ramp
  • Paint New Headquarters
  • Install Base & Case
  • Lay Tile & Laminate Flooring
  • Repair Soffet & Gutters
  • Build a Swingset
  • Debris Removal

 

  • Stump Grinding
  • Farm Pond Clean Out (Tornado Debris)
  • Dead Tree Removal
  • Masonry Work
  • Dirt Removal
  • Paint Fire Hydrants 
  • Install/Repair Windows
  • Lay Sod
  • Small Home Maintenance Repairs

Things We've Been Up To Lately:

Serve Moore Saturday

You know how they say, "All good things must come to an end?" 

Yeah, I don't think "they" really understood good things. Good things are important. Good things can be contagious. Good things bring people together.

Serve Moore Saturday is a good thing. Rather, it's a bunch of people doing MANY good things.

In the last 15 months, Moore has seen tens of thousands of volunteers cross city, state, and national borders to come serve in the wake of a devastating EF-5 tornado. These people coming to serve our city has been a good thing. Eventually though, all those volunteers go home -- back to their cities, states, and nations. 

But remember -- all good things do NOT have to end. You and I still live here. You and I still know people suffering. You and I still want to keep Moore a great place to live. So it's you and me -- and our families, friends, and neighbors. Let's keep this good thing going to #RenewMoore!

Let's push to get hundreds of people together for October's Serve Moore Saturday and make a huge difference in our community! Invite everyone. Even if you helped at Serve Moore after the tornado, there's still PLENTY to do!

Join in on October 25th from 9am till 3pm at 200 S Howard Ave, Moore.

#RenewMoore with Sheds

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

We've heard from many homeowners in need of storage. Sometimes they are forced to pay a new monthly bill to keep a storage unit; sometimes they're moving back into a smaller home and need additional storage. No matter why, we want to help provide some long-term, cost effective storage for people affected by the storms.

Do I Qualify?

We have three general stipulations for homeowners who are looking to have sheds built by Serve Moore AND provided at no cost. My property was affected by the tornado, and:

  • My shed or storage was destroyed.
  • I have moved into a smaller home or a home with a smaller garage and have therefore lost my ability to store things. 
  • I am currently paying for a storage rental and could be relieved of that payment with a shed.
     

None Of The Above?

Would you like to have a shed but weren't affected by the tornado or don't fit into the situations above?  We would still love to have a conversation to see what we can do. If you are willing to pay for the materials necessary to build the shed, we would be happy to provide the volunteers to build it! This is all part of our vision to #RenewMoore!

Come Build With Us!

In our last post, we teased a little bit about the building projects coming up in the fall. We are excited to finally give you a little more info about those upcoming projects!

Starting in August, Serve Moore volunteers will be working with other long term recovery organizations to build houses in the affected areas. The Serve Moore team is excited to help local families who are still struggling to recover after the tornados in May 2013. We will absolutely need skilled and unskilled volunteers to help with these house builds!

Not only will we be building houses, but we will also be continuing to build many fences, as well as more sheds. We hope to continue helping homeowners finalize recovery by aiding them in these last steps. In addition to building sheds and fences, we've been renewing properties through gardening, and even painting homes. 

As we begin new Build Projects, we will also be continuing with Renewal. This summer, we have already been busy with Playground Builds across the city (including Briarwood Elementary, Plaza Towers Elementary, and Little River Park). We have worked along side the City of Moore Parks & Rec Department, as well as organizations like Kaboom! In the fall, we plan to build several neighborhood parks in our effort to #RenewMoore.

We would love for you to join us in these projects to build houses, fences, sheds, and playgrounds - as well as all our other projects going on to Rebuild and Renew Moore. Starting in August, we have tons of weeks available to bring volunteers! Contact us for more information or sign up here to volunteer!

 

 

A Statement on The Future of #ServeMoore

The words "Thank You" just seem so small. We've always seen Serve Moore as a team effort but we're talking about a team that's just rolled past 42,000 people strong. How do you tell that many people you deeply appreciate their partnership; that thousands of residents are grateful for their service; or that an entire community is forever-changed by their presence? 

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