There are so many charitable organizations that need help. Both volunteers and money are critical to delivering vital services. As part of our Taber Cares initiative, Homes By Taber offers both. So far in 2019, Taber team members have volunteered almost 770 hours to support causes throughout the Oklahoma City region. Through our monthly giving program, Taber Cares’ 2019 donations have reached $71,500 so far. We’d like you to know about some of the non-profit organizations that we are blessed to work with in our community outreach and the commitment of our Homes By Taber team.
Fostering Sweet Dreams Foundation
Approximately 7,500 children currently live in foster care in Oklahoma. In the last 3 months alone, 1,029 children entered the system. Many of them change homes multiple times, often separated from their siblings, and some never find a permanent home.
Every foster child is required to have their own bed. With emergency placements and other unexpected situations, some of the basic comforts can be overlooked. Kristy Payne founded Fostering Sweet Dreams Foundation in 2016 to supply essential needs to Oklahoma's most vulnerable children. As a foster mom who adopted 2 children, she has first-hand knowledge of the challenges facing these youngsters and their foster families.
By being able to provide beds, cribs, mattresses, and car seats, Kristy says, “I am able to reach more kids than I could ever bring into my home. It continues to impact me daily when I hear the stories of the families that need our services. I want to ensure they all know they are loved and will have a safe, clean bed to rest their heads at night.”
In the past 3 years, Fostering Sweet Dreams has assisted families in 31 Oklahoma counties and impacted the lives of 2,196 children. A little more than halfway through 2019, Kristy’s organization has helped 533 foster kids.
“We currently serve mostly emergency and kinship placements, safety plan families, and biological families that are working to keep their kids out of foster care,” Kristy explains. “We have also assisted domestic violence victims who are starting out on their own with nothing. We would love to be able to also assist traditional foster homes as well as foster children that age out of the system and need assistance getting out on their own.”
Groovin’ for Autism
This annual event raises money for two groups that assist autistic individuals and their families: AutismOklahoma and Oklahoma City Autism Center Foundation. Groovin’ for Autism has been happening every April—Autism Awareness Month—for the past 10 years.
Groovin’ for Autism provides funds for the I Can Swim Camp, an annual summer program that teaches basic swim and safety skills to children with autism. According to statistics, 1 of 4 autistic children wander from home at some point. They often head toward water and, without this training, the consequences can be tragic.
Tara Warwick, camp director, says “1 in 59 individuals have been diagnosed with autism—1% of the population. The condition is more common than pediatric cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined, and it increases every year.”
“There is no known cure for autism, but we do know there is some genetic component,” says Warwick. “The number one treatment for autism is education.”
In addition to providing funds for the swim camp, Groovin’ for Autism’s success supports Lego camps, autism training for school staff, parent support groups, art groups, and family fun nights throughout the OKC metro area.
Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma
The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is the largest hunger-relief charity in the state, providing enough food to feed more than 136,000 hungry Oklahomans every week. In the last fiscal year, the group distributed 50 million pounds of food to nearly 1,300 partner agencies throughout 53 central and western Oklahoma counties. The majority of people served by the Food Bank are chronically hungry children, seniors on fixed incomes, and hard-working families who cannot make ends meet.
Homes By Taber’s contribution provided the equivalent of 39,000 meals. In addition, the Taber team members (including Taber and Julie LeBlanc) volunteer at the Regional Food Bank every month. The organization’s Lisa Pitsiri, Director of Development for the Food Bank, estimated that they have donated 687 hours and helped to pack 123,303 pounds of food.
She specifically praised Devon Streetman, one of Homes by Taber’s Superintendents, honored as Volunteer of the Quarter. He joined the Food Bank’s Leadership Class V, a group of 31 young professionals committed to fighting hunger in Oklahoma.
“I have several friends, including Devon, who work at Homes by Taber,” said Lisa. “It’s a terrific bonus to get to see them in our Volunteer Center and personally thank them for helping us with our mission of fighting hunger and feeding hope!”
Infant Crisis Center
Infant Crisis Services is no stranger to Homes By Taber—and vice versa. They have been a recipient of our support for 4 years, totalling $33,500 and 580 volunteer hours.
The organization offers support to families in times of crisis, regardless of income, because difficult times can affect anyone. Infant Crisis Services helps families with essentials for their babies and toddlers, including diapers, food, formula, wipes, bottles and sippy cups, clothing, blankets, and toys. Last fiscal year, Infant Crisis Services assisted 16,340 babies and toddlers. Their 2 BabyMobiles accounted for 6,251 of the 16,000+ visits last year,—traveling across 8 counties to help families.
In March 2019, Taber Cares was able to contribute $9,500, which funds a one-year’s supply of baby bottles! Danielle Morgan, Development Manager for Infant Crisis Services, points out that “since anyone is eligible to receive services, that means that our need increases every year. Donations and volunteer hours from Homes by Taber makes a big difference in helping us meet this need.”
Homes By Taber’s team members volunteer at Infant Crisis Services on a monthly basis, as well as at offsite events, such as Just Between Friends, throughout the year.
“They complete all sorts of different tasks when they are at Infant Crisis Services and every job they finish is ‘Proudly Overfinished’,” says Danielle, referring to our “Proudly Overbuilt” commitment. In fact, Infant Crisis Services nominated Homes By Taber for the Beacon Award for Charitable Influence, which we received last year. “The connection I’ve made with not only the Taber and Julie, but the entire Home By Taber family, is truly one of my favorites.”
Reaching out, giving back
Taber Cares sets aside $250 from the sale of every new home and donates the monthly total to a charitable organization serving OKC and surrounding communities. Please join the effort and choose a group that sparks your own passion and give them your time, skills, and heart.
About Homes By Taber
Homes By Taber, a local homebuilder in the Oklahoma City metro area, offers new, energy-efficient homes starting at 1,500 square feet of indoor living space and going up to 3,350 square feet of indoor living space. Prices for these new construction, single-family homes for sale start from the low $200,000 and go up to the mid $500,000 range. Homes By Taber was founded in 2000 by Taber LeBlanc. We currently build in 20 different locations with new construction homes for sale in the OKC metropolitan area.