The holiday celebrations are sweeter with a full stomach, and the Share the Spirit Foundation Board set a goal to raise $20,000 this year to help approximately 900 families in Rogers County have a warm meal on Christmas Day.
“This is the time of year for giving, and for 30 years, this foundation has depended on the community to support its efforts to help families in need,” said Dan Delozier, Share the Spirit Foundation president. “No one in Rogers County should be hungry during the holidays, especially children, and that is our mission.”
Recipients do not need to meet a financial need requirement or be on welfare to receive the Christmas basket. Many families who receive the boxes experienced financial difficulties over the last year, and the dinner helps ease some of the pressure.
Each year, the foundation partners with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. Families sign up to receive the food baskets, which contain items such as a turkey or ham, canned goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, bread, stuffing mix and dessert.
“Every year we have families who are so thankful for the help, and they tell us how happy they are to have a good meal,” said Delozier.
The foundation uses every donation to purchase food, and volunteers help govern the board, collect and distribute the food each year.
The foundation needs canned food donations and other non-perishable food items in addition to monetary contributions, which can be dropped off at the Claremore Daily Progress Office.
Tax-deductible donations may be sent to: Share the Spirit Foundation, P.O. Box 248 Claremore, OK 74017 — or delivered the Claremore Progress during office hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Claremore Progress is located at 315 W. Will Rogers Boulevard.
The Cherokee Nation recently donated 52 frozen turkeys, presented by local council members Keith Austin and Janees Taylor. The Walke Brothers are helping store the big turkeys until distribution day next month.
Austin said the Cherokee Nation donates to Share the Spirit every year because it is a dependable and effective program.
“We don’t need to reinvent the wheel with Share the Spirit. It is a proven county wide program,” he said.
The Share the Spirit Foundation was launched 30 years ago by the late publisher Dave Story. In 1987, the Claremore Daily Progress published an article highlighting the hunger needs of Claremore and Rogers County, which was the inspiration for the long-standing foundation.
To learn more about the organization visit sharethespiritfoundation.org