By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
ReMerge of Oklahoma County has been awarded the Boeing Self-Sufficiency Award and $7,500 by the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits. The award was given as part of the annual Oklahoma Nonprofit Excellence (ONE) Awards Gala, which honors the outstanding work of Oklahoma nonprofits statewide
“We are so excited to win such an important award,” said Caitlin Redding Taylor, Deputy Director of ReMerge. “The mission of our program is to transform mothers who face felony convictions into productive citizens and to strengthen their family bond – all with the hope to provide sustainable change and self-sufficiency.
“We’re honored that our program and our participants’ hard work has been recognized for this category,” Taylor added.
The finalists were announced on April 9 at Tulsa’s Southern Hills Country Club.
In 2014, the Center awarded the $1 millionth dollar to the sector. Since the first event, the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits has given away $1,215,000.00 to Oklahoma nonprofits.
“On behalf of our Board of Directors, our funders, our staff, and our incredible community partners, we are so grateful to be recognized with this award,” said Terri Woodland, Executive Director. “Our work is so necessary. Oklahoma incarcerates more women than any other state in the nation.
“We are thankful for the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits and the ONE Commission for honoring all the amazing nonprofits in Oklahoma,” Woodland added. “Our collective work is more important than ever in a time of financial uncertainty for our state.”
Woodland has been with the organization since inception in 2011.
“We began as an initiative of United Way of Central Oklahoma in 2010 and then received our 501(c)3 status in 2014. We are especially honored that our program has been considered for this award, despite being a younger nonprofit,” said Taylor.
United Way of Central Oklahoma was awarded the Charles Schusterman Award for Excellence on the same evening.
“We continually work to educate the community about the work we do and the amazing women we serve. Being a finalist for the ONE Award helps share our mission with the rest of the state,” Taylor added.
The ONE Awards Selection Commission, a group of esteemed community leaders from across Oklahoma, determined the finalists. The Commission, chaired by David Hogan, includes, Kathie Coyle, Nance Diamond, J. Jerry Dickman, Frederick F. Drummond, Ken Fergeson, Kim Henry, Phil Lakin, Jr., Frank Merrick, Polly Nichols, Meg Salyer, and Wendi Schuur.
“The finalists were selected because they are the best of the best at what they do,” Hogan says. “From the top level of management down to the part time staff, these are committed individuals pulling together to achieve missions as big as Oklahoma.”
ReMerge provides a comprehensive and intensive female diversion program, serving mothers who face nonviolent felony charges, by providing an alternative to incarceration,
The program transforms the lives of families in Oklahoma County with in-depth mental health and substance abuse treatment, transportation, housing, and basic needs.
In 2016, the ReMerge program celebrated the graduation of 22 mothers. Given this opportunity to participate in ReMerge, these graduates were able to stay with their families and avoid prison.
Together, these women once faced a combined minimum of more than 200 years of incarceration including 11 life sentences. This could have cost the state of Oklahoma a minimum of $4 million.
The 2016 Boeing Award was also given to Peppers Ranch, and YWCA Oklahoma City.
Out of approximately 18,000 nonprofits statewide, the ONE Awards honors a total of 24 organizations. The categories include: arts and humanities, community, education, health services, open services, self-sufficiency, seniors, and youth development.
All 24 nonprofits receive at least a $5,000 prize, and category winners receive $7,500. The overall winner receives a grand prize of $10,000.
In total, organizations received almost $150,000 to recognize the impact of their charitable work throughout the state.
On Tuesday, May 3 the 2016 Faces of ReMerge Luncheon will feature honorary chair, Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater. The luncheon will be held at Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club, 7000 NW Grand Boulevard, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The free event is an opportunity to learn more about the ReMerge program and meet the women and children whose lives have been affected. To register or become a table sponsor click here or call Caitlin at 405-523-3508.
To learn more, visit www.remergeok.org.