Nonprofits Show Up

OpEd by Marnie Taylor, President and CEO

This week, teachers across the state walked out to demand better funding and support for our ailing public education system. The walkout had been planned for weeks, but parents and workplaces were left wondering what their options were. As they have in the past, and they will in the future, nonprofits have stepped up in a big way to ease many of those burdens.

Across the state, organizations with plenty of space for activities, churches and other nonprofits have opened their doors to provide care, food, safe places for kids to roam, learn and have fun, and so much more. In crisis, nonprofits are there. They show up.

In 2013, after the tornadoes that devastated Moore and other parts of the state, nonprofits showed up to help. When a family needs food, nonprofits such as our regional food banks show up to ensure they have nutritious options. When people with disabilities need services, rehabilitation or a place to work out and shoot hoops, nonprofits such as the Center for Individuals with Physical Challenges in Tulsa show up. When Oklahomans want to see a great concert, nonprofits such as our Tulsa Symphony, OKC Philharmonic or OK Mozart in Bartlesville show up.

We show up because Oklahoma needs nonprofits. And our nonprofits need Oklahomans – for volunteerism, board members, staff, philanthropy and donations, advocacy, and good, old-fashioned cheerleading of the sector.

Our nonprofits are showing up this week in a big way to support educators, parents, students and businesses. It’s not an easy job, and it’s not without cost. People who know me well hear me recite the John Wesley attributed quote, “Do all the good you can.” Right now, nonprofits are doing a lot of good in this state by showing up.

And they will do that good tomorrow, the next day, the next month and the next year. I’m very thankful to be a part of this sector that shows up in times of need. And the great thing about nonprofits is that they show up whether we know we need them or not. I urge Oklahomans this week to thank a nonprofit for showing up and “doing all the good they can.”

And I encourage nonprofits to communicate how they show up and “do all the good they can” for Oklahoma. Our humility sometimes gets the best of us. Let’s all ensure that the good work we do becomes part of a bigger story in Oklahoma. Tell that story by letting Oklahomans know how you show up for our state – in good times and bad.

Thank you for showing up.

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