Happy Giving Tuesday everybody! With the global giving movement taking place today, I wanted to remind everyone that The Div operates on tax deductible donations from supporters like you in order to help kids learn, embrace and excel in technology. We are so grateful to our friends and supporters for believing in what we’re trying to do for the next generation.
With the end of the year fast approaching and holiday generosity in full swing, charitable giving is top of mind right for many of us right now. When my iThemes family asked me to help them develop a list of local organizations who they could support with their Christmas giving initiative, my mind went into overdrive. There are so many deserving nonprofits doing incredible work right here in our little corner of the world!
So instead of a holiday gift guide, I thought I’d share a giving guide. Here are a few local organizations that I’m especially fond of that would be happy recipients of some holiday giving. It’s no secret that we’re passionate about kids around these parts, so many of these organizations serve children and their families.
- Positive Tomorrows is Oklahoma’s only elementary school especially for homeless children. iThemes chose to support Positive Tomorrows last year and the team absolutely loved getting to learn about all of the unique ways this innovative school serves a very special group of kiddos.
- Heartline operates a suicide prevention line, a gambling hotline and perhaps most notably, answers the 211 line in our area. 211 is an information and referral line for any health and human service needs. It’s sort of like 911 for social services.
- Sunbeam Family Services is one of Oklahoma’s oldest nonprofit organizations, having been around for more than 100 years. Dedicated to providing the highest quality of care for the poor and working poor in our community, they offer programs all the way from cradle to cane- Counseling, Early Childhood Education, Foster Care and Senior Services.
- ReMerge is a comprehensive female diversion program designed to reunite families by transforming pregnant women and mothers facing incarceration into productive citizens in order to interrupt the cycle of intergenerational incarceration and poverty. Especially important here in Oklahoma, with a number one ranking in female incarceration per capita despite an average crime rate.
If you’ve known us for long, you know that our founding board member Cory Miller is passionate about mental health and speaks publicly and candidly about his own experiences. Since it’s a topic near and dear to us, I thought I’d also highlight a few nonprofits with an exclusive focus on mental health.
- Mental Health Association Oklahoma is a statewide agency dedicated to promoting mental health, preventing mental disorders and achieving victory over mental illness through advocacy, education, research, service and housing. In Oklahoma City, they offer a peer-run drop in center where people can socialize, relax, participate in their own growth and development and find encouragement and hope.
- Calm Waters understands that loss can bring on turbulent and frightening times for children and teenagers. They’re a support center for children and families whose lives have been changed by death, divorce or other major loss.
And since we’re obviously all about anything that helps to build the tech community here in Oklahoma, you should also check out the good folks over at Techlahoma, who support OK’s technologists, usergroups and conferences through mentoring, finances and training.
Whew! These are just a few of the amazing nonprofits doing really impactful work in our area and there are so many more I could list. Did I miss your favorite…local or otherwise? Share it in the comments!
Ready or not, we’ve officially entered the holiday season. Whether you’re buying presents for the family or just stocking up on toothpaste, now it’s easy to support The Div while you shop.
Amazon Smile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charities while you shop. Use it and Amazon will give The Div o.5% of the total purchase price of whatever you’re buying. You shop. Amazon gives. It’s easy!
To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to smile.amazon.com and select The Div as your charity of choice. Once you pick The Div, Amazon will start donating a portion of your purchase price each time you shop through Amazon Smile. That’s it!
It’s the exact same Amazon shopping experience you’re used to, complete with Prime shipping (if you’re as addicted to that as we are around here), but now you can shop and support the advancement of kids in tech at the same time.
Cyber Monday sales, anyone?
Like so many others in Oklahoma (and around the world), we watched the live coverage of the tornadoes that ripped through our state this week … and then in disbelief have seen the photos and videos and heard the stories of some of those who lost homes and lives.
Most of us are asking, “What can I do?”
In fact many ARE asking us how they can help, from offering hotel points to money and other things.
These people don’t care about tax-deductible donations … they just want their help to directly impact the people who are hurting and we want to help facilitate that.
If you know someone affected by the recent tornadoes, please let us know below in the comments … specifically their names, their story and how we can help directly.
Also, if you’re already doing something for victims, please let us know how we can contribute to what you’re already doing!
We are 8 months into our little experiment that is called The Div. One of my personal favorite events that we have held is Community Collaboration Days. It has happened every Thursday from 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. since we opened. We have had many Thursdays were The Div was filled with people looking to network, connect and talk about projects. We have other Thursdays where I was sitting alone waiting very patiently for all of you to come through the doors and talk to me!
We are focused on making an impact and want to ensure we’re putting our time and resources into maximizing our impact in the web tech community in Oklahoma.
Thus we have decided to cancel our weekly Thursday Community Collaboration Days for now. As of March 26, 2012 we have discontinued Community Collaboration Days. If you have a special need or events, please let me know and we can make special arrangements with advance notice. The Div is still open by appointment and during all of our scheduled class and event times.
But let me say we have some great plans and projects for The Div coming soon! One of these exciting projects is a Div Jr. program. I will have more information for you in the next few weeks, but here is a quick synopsis: We want to have a kids camp this summer. There will be two classes of 20 students (12-15 age group). One in the morning for a webdesign class and the afternoon for gaming production. Doesn’t that sound amazing?!?
I am currently putting my full-time attention towards our other projects including Div Jr. and raising the necessary funds to make it happen. Thus, I am currently trying to find headline sponsors. Those companies and individuals willing to donate $5,000 or more to help us make this happen. We need instructors, curriculum, snacks, computers and marketing. I am also looking for sponsors for individual kids. You can sponsor a child for $250 and allow them to attend our camp for free!
If you are interested in getting more details about our sponsorship opportunities please let me know.
While we are talking about sponsorships. If you want to donate any amount to The Div, we will forever be grateful. We cannot continue any of our projects without our communities financial support. I hope you will consider a donation of any amount to The Div today and help us continue our work.
So, goodbye Community Collaboration Day, but hello to Div Jr!!
You may have seen all the tweets I sent out last week about all the books we bought for our library. If you didn’t see them, just know we bought a lot of books! Unfortunately, our shelves still look a little bare.
So now I am asking for your help!
Will you help us fill our library with useful books for anyone who enters our doors? We have created an amazon wish list of books that have been requested or that we think would be helpful. We will constantly be adding to this list.
We also have a “loan a book” program. If you have books that you would like back, but you are alright with sharing them with The Div for awhile then please bring them by! We will mark them, with your permission, and then when you want them back they will be here waiting for you.
We are not going to be able to fill these shelves without your help. So whether it is helping purchase a book off of our wish list or loaning a book to us we need your support. Thank you in advance for helping us with our library.