Remembering those less fortunate
As we celebrate this holy season of Christmas and the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I want to encourage my fellow Oklahomans to open your hearts and pocketbooks to those less fortunate in our local communities. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the decorating, holiday parties and shopping to find the perfect gifts for loved ones, but this is a time when we should also be showing Christ’s unconditional love to those less fortunate.
While we’re desperately trying to find the perfect gifts for those on our Christmas list, there are thousands of Oklahomans who can’t afford to keep the heat on, buy their medications, or even think about buying their kids toys. For this reason, I want to ask that we all consider donating to some local charities to help our neighbors in need this holiday season.
We’re so blessed in Oklahoma to have thousands of amazing nonprofits and charitable organizations to meet every possible need. There are so many, in fact, that it can be overwhelming to research and find the perfect charity that speaks to your heart.
To make it easier, I want to remind you all about the United Way’s partner, Heartline 211. This is a one-stop shop to easily find the charity you’d like to support. You simply dial 2-1-1, text your zip code to 898-211 or visit heartlilneoklahoma.org to speak to a service specialist. You’ll be connected to organizations in your area that provide free and low-cost services such as financial assistance, food, clothing, housing, counseling, healthcare and more. At this time of year, many organizations have Christmas wish lists for their customers, so they’ll be glad to share that with you, so you can help a family in need immediately.
Also, if you’re in need of anything, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Heartline 211, and they will get you in touch with an organization that can help you. Whether you’re needing transportation, clothing, food, childcare assistance, help with utilities or prescriptions, or anything else, Heartline 211 has your back and is ready to help however they can.
Having and finding food is probably the greatest struggle in our state even though there are hundreds of food pantries and meal providers throughout the state. Heartline 211 can you help you find the ones in your community. The state’s greatest resource is the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, which services a majority of counties and hundreds of local charities. You can visit RFBO.org/Get-Help to find food pantries near you.
The holidays can be extremely difficult for many people. Heartline 211 is also a crisis hotline. Regardless of your age, if you’re struggling mentally or emotionally, please reach out and talk to someone. If you or someone you love is struggling with thoughts of suicide, you can call 211 or the National Suicide Hotline any time 24/7 at 800-273-8255 to get immediate help. If you are 24 or younger and in crisis – behavioral or emotional, physical or social, at home or at school, the Youth Crisis Mobile Response Line is also available 24/7 at 833-885-CARE. You are not alone. No situation or circumstance is too big to overcome. You are precious and someone will always be available to help talk you through those difficult times and get you any help you need.
Whether you’re wanting to spread some Christmas cheer to your fellow Oklahomans, or you need a helping hand this holiday season, please know there is a charitable organization, church or business ready to hear from you. Please contact Heartline 211 to see what’s available in your local community.
The Garvin’s want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year filled with hope, health and happiness.
If I can be of any assistance, please write to Senator Jessica Garvin, State Capitol, 2300 N. Lincoln Blvd. Room 237, Oklahoma City, OK, 73105, email me at Jessica.Garvin@oksenate.gov or call (405) 521-5522.
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