Homes for Children, Career Transitions provide hope
Imagine a 7-year-old little girl confidently saying, “That’s my Momma!” as a woman walks across the stage in a cap and gown and receives her a degree from Oklahoma City Community College.
Now imagine that just a little over two years ago that same little girl held the hand of that same woman, and they were both afraid because they were just coming off the streets, out of domestic violence, and out of the sting of addiction and poverty.
They were both just stepping into a new life in which they both could thrive. The place they stepped into that enabled them to have hope is called the Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children, located in Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma Baptist Homes for children’s ministry provides care for single moms without charge and is dependent on charitable contributions.
Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children is a not-for-profit organization that has a vision to be a source of hope for children by carrying out a mission of empowering children and their families, according to the OBHC website.
OBHC has several programs, and one is called Children’s Hope, which is a campus located in Oklahoma City that includes six cottages where single mothers and their children can live safely in their time of need, while they work to build a foundation for a brighter future.
“Children’s Hope has helped more than 300 families and impacted more than 550 children,” the OBHC website notes. While living at the OBHC OKC campus, the mothers are provided with several resources to help them become more self-sufficient. One of the resources is education.
“It is our hope that we can equip these single moms to get an education; obtain gainful employment and become successful,” Children’s Hope Director Cathy Rangel said.
While in Children’s Hope, the mothers are required to go to school to help make them more employable. One of the education programs that many of the mothers who are a part of Children’s Hope participate in is called Career Transitions at OCCC.
Career Transitions is a program designed to assist individuals facing economic challenges, according to the OCCC website. While in Career Transitions, mothers learn several skills to make them more employable; for example, they are taught interview etiquette and resume building.
Katie Looper is one of the mothers who completed The Children’s Hope Program and graduated from OCCC through Career Transitions. She now has a job in her degree field, and she and her children live securely in their own home, Looper said.
Looper said with the help of Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children and OCCC’s Career Transitions, she had a chance to make significant lifestyle changes for herself and her children’s lives that enabled her to achieve success.
Without the help of OBHC, “There is no way I could have
taken two years out of my life to get a degree,” she said. Looper said being a
part of OBHC and having the opportunity to get an education while living at
Children’s Hope campus helped her to overcome poverty.
She graduated OCCC through Career Transitions with a certificate of mastery in medical office administration. Also, Looper completed her associate’s degree in Respiratory Care Therapy, and she is now gainfully employed through Norman Regional Hospital.
Looper has proved by her success that OBHC works to help, but it does take a village. OBHC needs the help of everyone in assisting mothers and their children to overcome poverty, she said.
There are various ways in which anyone can help.
Children’s Hope needs volunteers, once the pandemic is over, to help watch the mom’s children for one hour on Monday evenings while the mom’s participate in classes such as Dave Ramsey’s financial peace, and Love and Logic parenting class, Rangel said.
The volunteer application can be found online. For volunteer opportunities contact Jim Stewart OBHC’s volunteer coordinator at 405-691-7781. Another way to help is the “10 Acer Challenge,” where farmers can donate a portion of their crop production to OBHC and challenge their friends to do the same.
The produce is then sold, and the proceeds are used to meet daily needs of children at OBHC. People can also donate through cash, check or credit card to help the children in need. To coordinate a donation contact Rick Choate at email@example.com or 580-224- 7094.
For planned giving and some other types of giving, contact Terry Davidson planned giving specialist at 405-833-6716. Anyone interested in getting involved in making a difference in children and their mothers’ lives, can see full details at obhc.org or call 405-691-7781.
Imagine Looper holding the hand of a COVID-19 patient she is helping to treat in the respiratory unit of the Hospital. Imagine Looper helping to save a life, only after her life and the lives of her children were saved by Oklahoma Baptist homes for Children and OCCC’s Career Transitions.