By Darla Shelden
Women of the South – Oklahoma City was established in 1995 as a philanthropic organization comprised of women helping women. Last week they expanded their efforts by opening a clothing store to aid those affected by the recent tornados.
The store, called Women of the South Tornado Relief, is located in Châtenay Square Shopping Plaza at 10600 S Pennsylvania, Suite 9. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday and 12 – 4 p.m. on Sunday.
The shop contains a variety of clothing for men, women and children as well as accessories. All clothing will be distributed at no charge. Visitors are asked to bring verification of address or FEMA number if available.
Organizers of the clothing store project include WOS members Mary Blankenship Pointer, Connie Mashburn, Joyce Mauldin, Lana Elliott, Marynel Chabino, Sharon Greene, and Ashley Spaan.
Pointer, a Senior Vice President of Business Development at UMB Bank and WOS Secretary announced the opening of the store last week.
“It is wonderful how this group of women worked together to provide basic clothing needs to those that suffered so much in our community,” said Pointer.
“We will be offering concierge type service, with a personal shopper for each person,” Pointer said. “We recognize this is a very difficult time in the lives of our fellow citizens and would like to do all that we can, from providing clothing for work or just an ear to listen.”
Nearly two decades ago, a group of nine Southside Oklahoma City women created Women of the South, a non-profit organization dedicated to the improvement of South Oklahoma City and the surrounding area.
WOS was honored as the “Citizen of the Year” in 2010 by the South Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce.
“We opened this store for those who were hit by the tornados,” said WOS member Joyce Mauldin. “All clothes are new or gently used. We do ask for verification of address or FEMA number.”
“Several of the stores in Châtenay Square have donated items such as massages from Massage Envy and phone chargers from T-Mobile,” Mauldin added. “Owner and developer Paul Odom, is giving us the Châtenay space, free of charge. Without that we would never be able to give back to the community.”
The main mission of the Women of the South is to provide its members with the opportunity to become involved in the community through civic, cultural, educational and social activities. WOS’s signature program provides scholarships to single mothers.
“We are still accepting donations of clean, new or nearly new clothing on hangers,” Pointer added. “Donations can be dropped by the store anytime between 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Also, donations can be dropped by any UMB Bank location and we will transport them to the store.”
Women of the South has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships and participates in many cultural and community projects. Financing for these programs is achieved through WOS annual fundraising events.
Monthly WOS business meetings are held the third Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the South Oklahoma City area. Check the WOS website and monthly newsletter for specific locations.
“Some of our members were directly affected by the tornados that ripped through Moore and South Oklahoma City,” said Mauldin. “Our desire to help all those in need is our foremost mission.”
To make a donation to the WOS clothing store call 405-823-2051 or 405-514-4929, or for more information visit www.womenofthesouth.org.
Women of the South provides clothing to victims of recent tornadoes
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