In June 2017, Serve More passed another MILLION DOLLARS in free labor provided to central Oklahomans. It's all part of our mission to empower people to love their neighbors.Read More
You read that number right. Serve Moore volunteers have given more than $26 MILLION in time and effort to central Oklahoma in the three years since our founding.
That’s a lot of volunteer value.
As we wrap up this National Volunteer Week, we thought we’d share this one amazing stat about Serve Moore volunteers. Everybody knows (or at least assumes) that volunteering is important. If not for that volunteer, who would hand out food at the pantry? If not for that volunteer, who would paint the elderly man’s home? If not for that volunteer, who would clean up the mess of a natural disaster?
But do you know when we see the real power of the volunteer? When we get them together. Since that day in May 2013 when #ServeMoore became a movement we’ve mobilized 57,634 volunteers to renew the communities of central Oklahoma. And together they’ve done more than we ever could apart.
Together we’ve put families back into their homes.
Together we’ve renewed parks, forests, and public spaces.
Together we’ve broken the cycle of suffering and replaced it with renewed pride, energy, and hope.
Honestly? That’s not too shabby for a Hashtag-on-Twitter-turned-Local-Nonprofit! It only works because people show up, because others give cash, and because we band together in our desire to the communities of central Oklahoma renewed.
Happy National Volunteer Week, y’all.
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.
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.
Just one week ago, we introduced you to this young man. You heard the heartbreaking story of a bullet that paralyzed him just shy of his thirteenth birthday. You heard that he's a good-hearted boy who wanted to meet Russell Westbrook for Christmas. And you heard of the immense hurdle his family faces to bring him home — $80,000 in repairs, travel, and equipment.
And then — you got busy.
In the seven days since we launched our campaign to #BringJannehHome you have raised almost $10,000! You've pledged your time and your services to help make it possible for Janneh to come home! You have tweeted and written to Russell Westbrook, asking him to visit Janneh — WHICH HE DID!
In fact, Russell showed up to The Children's Center Rehabilitation Hospital unannounced to surprise Janneh and his family. It wasn't a PR stunt — no reporters, no entourage, no videocameras — and that sincerity melted everyone's hearts. The story broke on Reddit and quickly got the attention of national news outlets and bloggers:
And from there it just got bigger...
Folks. Let us tell you — Janneh was starstruck. For a kid who talks a big game, he was speechless. But Russell hung out with him for about half an hour. He also brought a signed pair of his basketball shoes and his Sunset-Orange Jersey for Janneh to keep!
As the story has grown, so has support of the family and our efforts to #BringJannehHome! So far, 145 people from around the WORLD have given to help pay for the home modifications, the emergency generator and the a van for the family:
View Donations to #BringJannehHome in a full screen map
Incredible, huh?! Well, we still need to mention that several companies have committed time and products to help:
- Kendra Orcutt, OTR of Home Mods by Therapists
- Wes Gaddy of KG Construction with Joe Sharp
- Michael Barnett of Barnett Electrical Services
- Spencer & Jessica Stone of CertaPro Painters of Norman
- Jeff Cross of Crosswind Pools
- Dave Boeck, Architect
- Kenny Smith of Consolidated Builders Supply
- Dolese of Oklahoma City
We've definitely hit the ground running to #BringJannehHome but we still need help. If you haven't already, jump in by pledging your time, giving cash, or providing a product or service. Volunteer work will start at the home after the first of the year. Know people who can help spread the word? Get them connected! Just like anything else, we'd rather do cool stuff with friends. Let's go!
If you've been following along this week, you know that we're celebrating a Week of Thankfulness where we focus each day on an aspect of our story and why it's so incredible. Today is no different. Partnership is at the very core of what Serve Moore is as an organization. We are committed to the process of working together with others to affect a greater good in the communities we serve.
Partnership is so foundational to Serve Moore because it was the very first thing we did. Even before the hashtag and thousands of volunteers — Serve Moore was a group of friends and neighbors from local churches. We knew two things. First, we wanted to connect the people who needed help with the people wanting to give help. Second, we wanted to work together to do more than we could have apart. And you know, that's really all you need for partnership — a common goal and willingness to work together.
What started with a group of friends from several churches has grown into a vibrant and innovative nonprofit. But the idea of partnership has never dimmed. Serve Moore is only what it is today because of our partners. Partners like Covenant Life Assembly donating use of their gym, the City of Moore donating use of their former police station, companies like Starbucks and Chick-fil-A of Moore who believe in our mission and support it in many ways, and churches like Life.Church Moore and Emmaus Baptist Church who have continued their partnership efforts with manpower and money. All these partners and many more make it possible for Serve Moore to #RenewHomes & #RenewLives and frankly — we couldn't possibly be more thankful for each one of them.
If your organization shares our vision of renewed homes & lives, you should consider partnership with Serve Moore! We bring help to thousands of metro households a year but we could do even more with your support. You can email email@example.com to start the conversation.
Sometimes we take for granted that we know Serve Moore's story so well. We've lived it every day for more than two years. A few days ago, however, I got to tell the story to someone who had never heard it. That got me thinking. We have such an incredible story because we have so much for which to be thankful! So here it is — our Week of Thankfulness — our chance to express just how deeply grateful we are for this incredible story.
Our story began with people. What started as about 50 of our local friends wanting to do something — anything — to help those hurting after an EF-5 tornado tore through our communities turned into more than 50,000 people giving their time to help us recover. We never could have predicted that inviting people to #ServeMoore with us would result in so many people answering that call — let alone that a nonprofit passionate about serving and loving people would be born out of that movement.
We are thankful for the tens of thousands of volunteers who have given their time to the people of central Oklahoma. You are our first and greatest resource as a nonprofit. You are the reason we are able to do what we do. And you will continue to be the key to connecting the people who need help with the people who want to give help. In January, Serve Moore will begin to organize and train local, individual volunteers to work to renew homes and renew lives. So thank you for inspiring us. Thank you for being the beginning and the continuation of this incredible story.
If you're local to the central Oklahoma area and you're interested in volunteering regularly with Serve Moore, give us your contact info and we will email you in January with dates for our Volunteer Launch events!
On their last day at Serve Moore HQ, a few of our Summer Interns snuck in one, final blog post. It seems they wanted the world to know what they thought of their summer spent serving those who came to serve. I'll just leave these thoughts here, untouched, as they presented them. The only thing I'll add — every day it becomes increasingly obvious to me that the renewal we began working for more than two years ago spreads to every heart and life this movement touches.
As our Summer 2015 internships come to a close, some of us wanted to write a message of thanks to Serve Moore, Chris, Michael, and the rest of the staff that has made our summer so great!
As my first internship comes to an end, I could not have been more blessed to be in any other place than here at Serve Moore. I learned a great deal of patience and to live organized in a disorganized world. But most of all I learned how to love people the way God wants Christians to love people. Chris, Michael and the rest of the Serve Moore team showed me how to love strangers and in a way that was selfless but enthusiastic. Helping people find home when all is lost and helping them feel more secure in their living conditions is what they are about. This time alone has only fueled my own passion to help others. So, I'm thankful for the opportunity that I had and for the people that I've met. And I’ll keep the same drive from this summer to use the rest of college and on to the rest of my career.
This summer working with Serve Moore has been one of the best I remember. This has hands down been the best internship I've experienced! Instead of finding people to fill in roles, Chris and Michael looked at us to find out how best we could benefit the organization. On top of that, instead of just doing specific jobs, we were asked to give our opinion, given the opportunity to share our ideas, and the freedom to make the internship as rewarding as we wanted. I definitely won't forget all the entertaining stories told over lunch, project runs with my fellow interns, or how much I learned about serving communities!
When you tell people you are an intern, they immediately go to think you’re getting coffee and making copies. I’ve been told internships are meant to be unglamorous and are there for you to “pay your dues.” For those of us fortunate enough to intern at Serve Moore, we know this to be untrue! Working at Serve Moore taught all of us to think on our feet and outside the box, and not be afraid to try new things. I have learned the power of telling stories to help spread Serve Moore’s mission, and I’ve been blessed to hear stories from both families in Moore and the volunteers, and realize how individual acts can build upon each other to make something great! I’ve also learned great life lessons about selflessness, positivity, and teamwork.
So, thank you Chris and Michael! Thank you for constant encouragement to push our limits. Thank you for my first Jimmy Johns, ever. Thank you for never letting us have a dull moment, and for being some of the best, most selfless, albeit sassiest people I’ve ever met. And thank you to the entire Serve Moore team, especially y’all interns, for giving me an unforgettable summer!
Working as the Nonprofit Management Intern at Serve Moore this summer has taught me several things and has given me priceless experience that I don’t think I would have received anywhere else. I have interned at nonprofits before, but never any as new as Serve Moore. I think I learned so much more at Serve Moore than I did or even could with my past experiences because it gave me a chance to help build something from the ground up and watch it grow.
Going into this internship I only knew that I wanted to work in the nonprofit sector. I didn’t know what exactly what I wanted to do and in what type of nonprofit work I wanted to be in. Seeing all of the people that Serve Moore has helped over this summer was very fulfilling especially since I got to be a part of that. That is something that I want to keep being a part of and hopefully turn into something that I can do once I am finished with school.
So to Chris, Michael, everyone at Serve Moore and my fellow summer interns, thank you so much for this great summer experience. I will be forever grateful for this amazing opportunity to be a part of something so great.
Phew! This week, though. Buckle up —
Not only was this the hottest week of the summer so far, but this was one of Serve Moore's busiest! 167 volunteers came from all across the country — some as close as Texas, some as far as Wisconsin! Together. All together, they worked 4,152 hours and saved OKC Metro residents just under $43,000 — all in just four days!
Experience Mission, a team of 28 volunteers, clocked in 784 hours and saved residents almost $6,000! They worked on two sheds — painting one, and building an entirely new one for a local veteran who lost everything in the 2013 Tornadoes. They also helped a resident of Moore who was affected by both the 2013 tornado, and the March 2015 storms. Volunteers helped this man repair his fence and clear landscape debris that had been in his yard since the storms hit. However, this homeowner still needs help brushhogging his yard, so if anybody can offer any help, please give us a call! Another Moore resident bought her first house for her family, but before she could move in, had the fence damaged in the March storms. Experience Mission's team repaired the fence and worked on the gate, giving her family a sense of privacy and security in their own back yard.
First Christian Kenosha's team of 14 completed 10 projects in only four days, working a combined 392 hours and saving residents $5,337! Showing off their strength, they removed 3,200 pounds of debris from a home, or almost 230 pounds per person! Volunteers repaired a fence for a Moore resident who lost her fence in the May 2015 storms, and hasn't had a safe outdoor space for her grandchildren to play in since. Another homeowner had a huge tree fall during the May 2015 storms, and damage her fence, gutters, and mailbox, all of which the team repaired and replaced. First Christian Kenosha visited two other homes that had suffered damage from the May 2015 storms, as well has helped us out at HQ building shelving in our hand tool room!
Bounce brought a group of 125 volunteers to replace NINE roofs in just FOUR days. That totaled 2,976 hours and a savings of $31,500! Seven of these roofs damaged in the March and May 2015 storms while two of the roofs were Renewal Projects to help homeowners care for their house. These projects generated more than 16,000 lbs of roof debris and used 433 bundles of shingles put back on. Bounce volunteers also did yard work at these homes improving the general appearance and making a happier place to call home.
In the extreme heat, volunteers also found ways to stay inside and serve. Combined, volunteer teams spent 266 hours at the Moore Food & Resource Center, saving them $3,724 in labor! Experience Mission served 6,533 meals to 286 people, while First Christian Kenosha served 2,777 meals to 118 people.
A major focus for Serve Moore volunteers this week was scouting neighborhoods. Both Experience Mission and First Christian Kenosha went door-to-door to over 1,000 homes this week, looking for needs to be met. From these interactions with homeowners, volunteers discovered almost 100 new needs that we can help with! To read more about our scouting teams and what you can do to help, visit our last blog post here.
Even though Serve Moore volunteers give invaluable time, energy, and dedication to renewal in our area, some find other ways to help those in need. Serve Moore would like to give a special thanks to Emmaus Baptist Church, Church of the Harvest, and The Salvation Army of OKC for donating materials and funds to help keep volunteers going! Also, thank you to the homeowners who helped volunteers help them by providing materials and found savings in free labor.
If you are interested in helping in any way you can, whether that be with time or funds for supplies, or if you are looking for somebody to ask for help, please contact us!