It's Giving Tuesday!

Give just $10 today and we'll send you the gift below to show our thanks!

Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone. Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed. But now it's time for Giving Tuesday — the day we remember to give to others because we're thankful for all we have. For us at Serve More, that means giving more neighbors are loved and served. Watch this:

Your donation means more neighbors like Rickey get help in times of disaster. More elderly neighbors like Sue getting the vital home repairs they need. And more of our disabled neighbors like Jazmine being given freedom and accessibility in their homes!

Make a donation to Serve More today, on Giving Tuesday, and we'll put it to work serving neighbors all over central Oklahoma. And we'll even put this Serve More Scout Book + 2 Stickers in the mail to you to show our thanks.

Community renewal starts with you but it ends with whole neighborhoods being restored by the neighbors that love them.

 

We're thankful for our disabled neighbors.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! We truly have so much to be thankful for so Serve More is counting down the days to Giving Tuesday with a special series of blog posts about thankfulness. 

Today, we’re thankful for Sonja & Jazmine. For more than two years now, Jazmine has dealt with with tumors, spinal issues, and a neurological disease that gives her chronic pain. Multiple visits to doctors and hospitals landed Jazmine in a wheel chair just before her senior year in high school. So Sonja called us in 2014 asking about how volunteers might help her daughter get in and out of the house  so she could continue attending school.

We consider this a pivotal point in the history of Serve More. That phone call opened our minds to the power of volunteers and a wider mission of loving our neighbors through many kinds of disaster. Jazmine’s was the first wheelchair ramp Serve More Volunteers ever built. And this new passion for loving our disabled neighbors is what eventually gave birth to our Mobility & Accessibility program. 

These days, we’re serving neighbors all across central Oklahoma who are looking for more freedom to get in, around, and out of their homes. We’ve met teenagers disabled by disease or injury, veterans in need of modifications after returning home from battle, and elderly neighbors needing more accessibility in their homes. 

But we’re just getting started. Your donations make it possible for us to open this program up to disabled neighbors in need of volunteer help. This Giving Tuesday, you can create thankfulness among your neighbors with a small donation. 

Again, enjoy a wonderful holiday with your friends and family. We look forward to celebrating Giving Tuesday with you soon!

We're thankful for neighbors who ask for help.

We’re counting down to Giving Tuesday, a day that people all over country use to remember how thankful they are and to create thankfulness in others by giving. As we count down, we want to tell you some stories of our own thankfulness — neighbors and friends who’ve made this organization possible. 

Meet Rickey. His neighborhood is in need of renewal. The neighborhood is mostly poor families living in older homes in need of repair and beautification. Rickey himself is a single grandfather who cares for his grandkids part-time. Let me tell you something — we’re thankful for Rickey

We’re thankful for his huge heart and joyful smile. We’re thankful that he cares for his grandkids and his neighbors. But we’re also thankful he asked for help. Neighbors asking for help is the very first step in the process of community renewal. Without them, we wouldn’t have that spark that ignited the movement of Serve More for the south metro and that has now grown to all of central Oklahoma. 

Here’s the deal. When Rickey asked for help, Serve More Volunteers were able to respond because together, we’ve all worked hard to set up our nonprofit to love our neighbors. We’ve secured tools and supplies to do the work. We’ve purchased materials for repairs. We’ve accepted donations to coordinate teams of volunteers. In short, we couldn’t have done it — nor continue to do it for the rest of Rickey’s neighborhood — without your donation. 

Prepare for Giving Tuesday. Donors and Volunteers have already created thankfulness in Rickey’s life. Will you consider making a donation to renew the rest of Rickey’s neighborhood and create even more thankfulness? 

We simply can't do it without you.


Summer of Sheds

One very important part of the recovery and renewal effort in our city has been replacing or creating storage for our impacted neighbors. Storage can be an afterthought in times of disaster but often even more storage is needed following a disaster than was needed before.

We've heard from many homeowners in need of storage. Most lost their sheds in the storms. Some are forced to pay a new monthly bill to keep a storage unit; still others are moving back into a smaller home and need additional storage.

What is provided?

Through incredible partnerships with the Moore/Shawnee Tornado Relief Fund and the Tulsa Community Foundation, Serve Moore will provide all the materials for an 8ft by 12ft wooden shed and the volunteer teams to build and paint the shed! The process takes a few weeks for some application information and verification. Once we start construction, we typically build a shed in 4 or 5 days, depending on the volunteer team skill and size.

Who qualifies?

To qualify for a shed through this program, your household must have been impacted in the May 2013 tornadoes in South OKC, Moore, and Shawnee (plus communities along the entire path of the storm). We'd ask that you meet one of the following qualifications:

  • Your onsite, outdoor storage was destroyed as a result of the tornado; or
  • You relocated or rebuilt to less square footage; or
  • You pay or are risk of paying a monthly storage fee as a result of the tornado.

How do I sign up? 

If you meet these qualifications or have questions about them, please give us a few pieces of information to get started. We'll be in touch to talk through your questions. After we determine your qualification, you'll be emailed or mailed an application to complete. 

Paint The Town New

We're excited to announce a dream for this year — 

We're going to paint 100 homes by the end of 2016.

We're calling it our dream to Paint The Town New!

In communities throughout central Oklahoma — from Moore to Edmond, in Classen Ten Penn, in Capitol Hill — there are neighborhoods of homes that need a little TLC. As years pass between coats of paint on the outside of a home, paint cracks and fades losing it's color and beauty. Worse still, those cracks and peeling cause energy loss, moisture buildup, and can even result in a fine from city code enforcement. 

Sadly, many of these homes belong to the elderly or disabled who likely lack the energy or ability to apply a new coat of paint and seal up windows and trim. Or consider single moms or dads who work full time and are the only parent to care for kiddos. Time is a luxury many of them don't have. And let's not forget those families who are struggling to stretch every paycheck. They simply cannot afford to paint the outside of their home.
 

Enter Serve Moore Volunteers

With more than 500 Spring & Summer volunteers scheduled and incredible partnerships like Wooster Brush Company, we're ready renew and beautify 100 homes in neighborhoods across central Oklahoma. We want people to feel good about the house they call home. We also want that house to be energy efficient and to stay dry. This is the first step toward community renewal in these towns and neighborhoods. We hope the power of the volunteer inspires whole blocks to get involved to make their neighborhoods safe, lovely, renewed places. 
 

Who qualifies?

To qualify for our Paint The Town new initiative, we ask that your household be in central Oklahoma (the OKC Metro area) and that someone living in your home be any one of the following:

  • physically or mentally disabled
  • elderly (60 or more years old)
  • a single parent with minor children
  • veterans of of the United States Armed Forces
  • living at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level

Ideally, volunteer services can be provided to individuals or families who own their homes. If you are in need and are a renter, please still apply but all rental property applications will be decided on a case-by-case basis and we make no guarantee that we can or will work with your landlord.

For questions about the application or services, please call Serve Moore at (405) 735-3060.
 

Wanna get involved?

Do you want to apply to have your house painted? Here's the button for you! More info below.

Want to jump in and grab a brush to renew homes and communities in central Oklahoma?! Sure you do.

Would you like your company involved with volunteers or as a sponsor of this initiative? 

How To Make A Teenager Speechless

If you've seen anything about Serve Moore in the last three months, you've probably seen our work to #BringJannehHome

Just before his 13th birthday back in June, Janneh was paralyzed by a gunshot while riding his bike around his dad's snowcone stand in South OKC. After some pretty intense surgeries and months of rehab, he was nearly ready to come home. Just one problem — nothing about his two story house was ready for a quadriplegic in a motorized wheelchair. Almost $20,000 worth of modifications stood between Janneh's parents and bringing their oldest son home. 

One of Janneh's physical therapy assistants had heard about the incredible work of Serve Moore volunteers in repairing homes and neighborhoods impacted by tornadoes in 2013 & 2015. So she made a phone call — just in case. Maybe this organization who had mobilized thousands of volunteers for one kind of disaster could help in this one. So we got to work.

Now, after $15,000 in donations, 268 donors from around the world, 120 days of construction, 43 volunteers and volunteer contractors, 4 little brothers and sisters, 2 grateful parents, and 1 surprise visit from Russell Westbrook — Janneh is home!

The Children's Center Rehabilitation Center wished him a tearful goodbye this morning and our staff alongside our incredible partners Kendra with Home Mods by Therapists and Wes with KG Construction Services welcomed him home to see his new home and room for the first time! THIS, ladies and gentlemen, is how you make a firecracker of a teenager speechless! For the first time since we met Janneh, he simply didn't know what to say. 

We'll be sharing a video of the event very soon. Until then, enjoy the photos of our little Welcome Home Janneh party!

We can't say THANK YOU enough to all the incredible partners and friends that made this possible. Janneh's parents want you to know that you've made their house a renewed home now that all their kids are back together under one roof.

If you'd like to chip in a few dollars to help us pay for final inspections & plumbing on this project, you can! We'd be so grateful for your support.

Year-End Gifts Help Everyone!

Before we know it, the ball will drop on 2015 and we'll be ringing in a new year full of opportunities and stories. Well, at least most everywhere else it drops. Here in Oklahoma City, it rises but that's another story for another time.

The point is that many people make charitable gifts in the last few days of each year. Those gifts, if made before the stroke of midnight will be counted toward your personal Charitable Contributions Statement for Tax Year 2015. For some, that can be an important deduction for, and mean a real difference on, their tax return. 

But honestly, you and I both know it doesn't stop there. No, not at all. 

Giving a charitable contribution almost always means more than just a tax break. For example, at Serve Moore, when you give $1 we turn that dollar into $3 in benefit for people and families affected by disasters, disability, and poverty. That's WAY more than just a deduction on a tax return. 

So, before that ball drops (or rises) on this year, slip in one more donation. It'll be good for your taxes, your heart, and VERY good for hurting families and people in central Oklahoma. Here are some good ideas:

The fund that allows us to mobilize volunteers any day of the year.

Our campaign to renew the home and life of a 13-year-old quadriplegic.

Merry Christmas, Janneh!

It's been an amazing week around here! Sure, we've been excited about gearing up for Christmas and looking forward to spending time with friends and family. But as you well know, Janneh and his family are still splitting time between home (with four siblings) and the rehabilitation hospital (where Janneh has been for several months). 

But check out what happened today!

That's right! The ramp and patio are done and they both have Janneh's Seal of Approval! It's been a wonderful Christmas Day celebrating all the early progress of our efforts to #BringJannehHome. Not only did Janneh get to test our the new ramp & patio, he got to have Christmas dinner AT HOME with his family, and even watch the OKC Thunder go up against the Chicago Bulls.

Guys. I cannot explain the sense of joy and relief that was palpable in the house. Having Janneh home for a few hours today was the cause of many smiles, photos, and neighbors dropping by to say hello. The best part about all of this — it's just the beginning. During the visit, our general contractor Kendra from Home Mods by Therapists got to walk Janneh through the changes to his bedroom and home.

All in this has been an amazing week working to #BringJannehHome. Already Janneh and his family are absolutely blown away by your generosity. They just can't stop saying how thankful they are for each and every one of you.

The next few weeks are going to be busy with new doors and windows being custom built, color consultations to find the best mix of color for Janneh's new room, and some additions to the patio of a roof and some low, brick walls. We'll keep you up-to-date all along the way. 

So you're done reading this. You're feeling great because there's good in the world. Well SHARE that feeling! Help us spread the word by clicking that "Share" button below and get busy!

**UPDATE**
If you want to chip in time or money to #BringJannehHome, hit up servemoore.com/janneh

A Whirlwind of Awesomeness

Just one week ago, we introduced you to this young man. You heard the heartbreaking story of a bullet that paralyzed him just shy of his thirteenth birthday. You heard that he's a good-hearted boy who wanted to meet Russell Westbrook for Christmas. And you heard of the immense hurdle his family faces to bring him home — $80,000 in repairs, travel, and equipment.

And then — you got busy.

In the seven days since we launched our campaign to #BringJannehHome you have raised almost $10,000!  You've pledged your time and your services to help make it possible for Janneh to come home! You have tweeted and written to Russell Westbrook, asking him to visit Janneh — WHICH HE DID

In fact, Russell showed up to The Children's Center Rehabilitation Hospital unannounced to surprise Janneh and his family. It wasn't a PR stunt — no reporters, no entourage, no videocameras — and that sincerity melted everyone's hearts. The story broke on Reddit and quickly got the attention of national news outlets and bloggers:

And from there it just got bigger...

...and bigger.

Folks. Let us tell you — Janneh was starstruck. For a kid who talks a big game, he was speechless. But Russell hung out with him for about half an hour. He also brought a signed pair of his basketball shoes and his Sunset-Orange Jersey for Janneh to keep!

As the story has grown, so has support of the family and our efforts to #BringJannehHome! So far, 145 people from around the WORLD have given to help pay for the home modifications, the emergency generator and the a van for the family:

View Donations to #BringJannehHome in a full screen map

Incredible, huh?! Well, we still need to mention that several companies have committed time and products to help:

We've definitely hit the ground running to #BringJannehHome but we still need help. If you haven't already, jump in by pledging your time, giving cash, or providing a product or service. Volunteer work will start at the home after the first of the year. Know people who can help spread the word? Get them connected! Just like anything else, we'd rather do cool stuff with friends. Let's go!

#WeAreThankful for Donors

$508,522

I want you to think about this number. It's a big number. Half a million dollars. I don't know about you, but that's more money than I've ever had in my lifetime.

Get this. Serve Moore Volunteers saved our neighbors more than HALF A MILLION dollars this year! By connecting people who need help with free labor and donated materials, we have renewed 287 homes in the Oklahoma City metro. That's stupendous. 

$168,000

Now think about this considerably smaller number. Not even half of that first number. In fact, it's less than a third. This is all it takes Serve Moore to mobilize and coordinate those volunteers and materials to renew homes and lives all over central Oklahoma. What's more — every one of those dollars comes from donors.

Staff-Photo.jpg

Donors have graciously and generously given 100% of our operating budget. Let's just say that we're blown away by this. These gifts make it possible to bring teams of hundreds to project sites, to provide materials when a family has nothing, to continue the incredible work of renewing homes and lives. 

$3 for $1

What's all this mean? Well, it simply means that Serve Moore generates $3 in benefit to the community for every $1 donated. So #WeAreThankful for donors. For their commitment to generosity. For their support of this great work. Guys and gals, we simply could not do this without you. 


Not yet one of our donors? Well, we can fix that! 
Serve Moore Donors make the work possible. Their pledges and gifts keep the train on the tracks and keep the hammers swinging. They're a great group of people and you can join today.

#WeAreThankful for Partners

If you've been following along this week, you know that we're celebrating a Week of Thankfulness where we focus each day on an aspect of our story and why it's so incredible. Today is no different. Partnership is at the very core of what Serve Moore is as an organization. We are committed to the process of working together with others to affect a greater good in the communities we serve.

Partnership is so foundational to Serve Moore because it was the very first thing we did. Even before the hashtag and thousands of volunteers — Serve Moore was a group of friends and neighbors from local churches. We knew two things. First, we wanted to connect the people who needed help with the people wanting to give help. Second, we wanted to work together to do more than we could have apart. And you know, that's really all you need for partnership — a common goal and willingness to work together. 

What started with a group of friends from several churches has grown into a vibrant and innovative nonprofit. But the idea of partnership has never dimmed. Serve Moore is only what it is today because of our partners. Partners like Covenant Life Assembly donating use of their gym, the City of Moore donating use of their former police station, companies like Starbucks and Chick-fil-A of Moore who believe in our mission and support it in many ways, and churches like Life.Church Moore and Emmaus Baptist Church who have continued their partnership efforts with manpower and money. All these partners and many more make it possible for Serve Moore to #RenewHomes & #RenewLives and frankly — we couldn't possibly be more thankful for each one of them. 


If your organization shares our vision of renewed homes & lives, you should consider partnership with Serve Moore! We bring help to thousands of metro households a year but we could do even more with your support. You can email chris@servemoore.com to start the conversation. 

#WeAreThankful for Our Neighbors

We're reflecting on the many things for which we're thankful this week — a Week of Thankfulness of sorts. As we've thought about the many groups of people for whom we're thankful, an interesting thought came to mind. We're very thankful for the many thousands of people whom we serve! It might not seem immediately obvious why but let us explain. 

When we're referring to people who need or use our services, as a team we've agreed to never use the word client. There's nothing wrong with the word inherently. Many nonprofits use the term to great success but we've never felt like it was very "us." Right from the start, the people in need have been our neighbors, friends, and fellow residents of the communities we serve. While it may not be the most business-savvy decision, we use any of those words before we call someone a client. 

So we're thankful for our neighbors. You trust us during some of the hardest times in your life. You trust us to treat you with respect and love. You trust us to be good neighbors. Serving you by mobilizing people to help renew your home is one of our greatest honors. We've always agreed that running Serve Moore would never be a "job" but had to be a "calling." Every single day, you make that calling possible with your trust and patience. For that, #WeAreThankful.

#WeAreThankful for Volunteers

Sometimes we take for granted that we know Serve Moore's story so well. We've lived it every day for more than two years. A few days ago, however, I got to tell the story to someone who had never heard it. That got me thinking. We have such an incredible story because we have so much for which to be thankful! So here it is — our Week of Thankfulness — our chance to express just how deeply grateful we are for this incredible story. 

Our story began with people. What started as about 50 of our local friends wanting to do something — anything — to help those hurting after an EF-5 tornado tore through our communities turned into more than 50,000 people giving their time to help us recover. We never could have predicted that inviting people to #ServeMoore with us would result in so many people answering that call — let alone that a nonprofit passionate about serving and loving people would be born out of that movement. 

We are thankful for the tens of thousands of volunteers who have given their time to the people of central Oklahoma. You are our first and greatest resource as a nonprofit. You are the reason we are able to do what we do. And you will continue to be the key to connecting the people who need help with the people who want to give help. In January, Serve Moore will begin to organize and train local, individual volunteers to work to renew homes and renew lives. So thank you for inspiring us. Thank you for being the beginning and the continuation of this incredible story.


If you're local to the central Oklahoma area and you're interested in volunteering regularly with Serve Moore, give us your contact info and we will email you in January with dates for our Volunteer Launch events!

Love, "The Interns"

On their last day at Serve Moore HQ, a few of our Summer Interns snuck in one, final blog post. It seems they wanted the world to know what they thought of their summer spent serving those who came to serve. I'll just leave these thoughts here, untouched, as they presented them. The only thing I'll add — every day it becomes increasingly obvious to me that the renewal we began working for more than two years ago spreads to every heart and life this movement touches.

— Chris


As our Summer 2015 internships come to a close, some of us wanted to write a message of thanks to Serve Moore, Chris, Michael, and the rest of the staff that has made our summer so great!

Claire

As my first internship comes to an end, I could not have been more blessed to be in any other place than here at Serve Moore. I learned a great deal of patience and to live organized in a disorganized world. But most of all I learned how to love people the way God wants Christians to love people. Chris, Michael and the rest of the Serve Moore team showed me how to love strangers and in a way that was selfless but enthusiastic. Helping people find home when all is lost and helping them feel more secure in their living conditions is what they are about. This time alone has only fueled my own passion to help others. So, I'm thankful for the opportunity that I had and for the people that I've met. And I’ll keep the same drive from this summer to use the rest of college and on to the rest of my career.


Michael

This summer working with Serve Moore has been one of the best I remember. This has hands down been the best internship I've experienced! Instead of finding people to fill in roles, Chris and Michael looked at us to find out how best we could benefit the organization. On top of that, instead of just doing specific jobs, we were asked to give our opinion, given the opportunity to share our ideas, and the freedom to make the internship as rewarding as we wanted. I definitely won't forget all the entertaining stories told over lunch, project runs with my fellow interns, or how much I learned about serving communities!


Kaylee

When you tell people you are an intern, they immediately go to think you’re getting coffee and making copies. I’ve been told internships are meant to be unglamorous and are there for you to “pay your dues.” For those of us fortunate enough to intern at Serve Moore, we know this to be untrue! Working at Serve Moore taught all of us to think on our feet and outside the box, and not be afraid to try new things. I have learned the power of telling stories to help spread Serve Moore’s mission, and I’ve been blessed to hear stories from both families in Moore and the volunteers, and realize how individual acts can build upon each other to make something great! I’ve also learned great life lessons about selflessness, positivity, and teamwork.

So, thank you Chris and Michael! Thank you for constant encouragement to push our limits. Thank you for my first Jimmy Johns, ever. Thank you for never letting us have a dull moment, and for being some of the best, most selfless, albeit sassiest people I’ve ever met. And thank you to the entire Serve Moore team, especially y’all interns, for giving me an unforgettable summer!


Andy

Working as the Nonprofit Management Intern at Serve Moore this summer has taught me several things and has given me priceless experience that I don’t think I would have received anywhere else. I have interned at nonprofits before, but never any as new as Serve Moore. I think I learned so much more at Serve Moore than I did or even could with my past experiences because it gave me a chance to help build something from the ground up and watch it grow.

Going into this internship I only knew that I wanted to work in the nonprofit sector. I didn’t know what exactly what I wanted to do and in what type of nonprofit work I wanted to be in. Seeing all of the people that Serve Moore has helped over this summer was very fulfilling especially since I got to be a part of that. That is something that I want to keep being a part of and hopefully turn into something that I can do once I am finished with school.

So to Chris, Michael, everyone at Serve Moore and my fellow summer interns, thank you so much for this great summer experience. I will be forever grateful for this amazing opportunity to be a part of something so great.

Love,

“The Interns”

#ServeMoore as told by Katie & Grant

This week, Katie and Grant drove with their team from Lexena, Kansas to help out our community. This was their second time coming, their first being the summer of 2013. Two years later, they were able to see the progress made, as well as help out families who were affected by the most recent storms this last spring.

When asked about their favorite part of the week, Katie told us about a woman she met while scouting for uncovered needs in a neighborhood. "Her house was hit by the tornado in May. She is crippled, so she was unable to reach her shelter in time." Miraculously, the lady survived the storm! Katie was able to bring comfort by sitting and talking with her, as well as offer hope by informing her about the services offered by programs like Serve Moore.

Grant recalled the joy on a homeowner's face when a finished project was handed back over. "We just finished painting the outside of house when he came out to talk to us. You could just tell how grateful he was." What was the most important part of this week? "Definitely interacting with the people!" they both agreed.

Volunteers are able to give local homeowners free labor, but the biggest gift they offer our community is taking the time to talk with and listen to our residents' stories. It's incredible how much of an impact that truly has on people's lives.

"The last tornados were a lot more destructive," Katie said while reflecting back on their first trip. Grant added, "It was heartbreaking seeing that much damage for the first time. But, it's so cool to see all the progress!"

You too can be a part of the progress we're making to bring renewal to Central OKC. To hear more stories like Katie and Grant's and find out how, go to www.servemoore.com.