ALA Tulsa supports ALA’s mission of representing professional legal management and managers to the legal community and to the community at large.
2017 Community Connection Project
On September 16, 2017, ALA Tulsa members participated in an annual community outreach project the morning of September 16, 2017 at the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. Members placed labels on canned corn which will be distributed to its 450 Partner Programs in eastern Oklahoma, including food pantries, emergency shelters, soup kitchens, senior citizen centers and after-school programs.
2016 Community Connection Project
On October 15, 2016, ALA Tulsa members and business partners participated in an annual community outreach project at the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. Members packed items which will be circulated to schools for the Backpack Program.
The Food for Kids Backpack Program provides nutritious, kid-friendly food to food insecure students to take home on Friday after school. Without this food, many students would return to school on Monday having eaten little or no food on the weekend. The Food Bank distributes more than 6,500 backpacks of food each week to students in preschool through high school in Tulsa County.
This program is run as a direct service by the Food Bank in Tulsa County. In communities outside of Tulsa County, the program is coordinated through Partner Programs. Partner Programs distribute 3,600 backpacks of food each week in the rural counties of eastern Oklahoma.
2015 Community Connection Project
ALA Tulsa members and business partners participated in “planting, preserving and promoting Tulsa’s urban forest” with Up With Trees on a beautiful Saturday morning at the Parkview Apartments.
The organization’s mission: To beautify greater Tulsa by planting trees and to create urban forestry awareness through education. Since 1976, Up With Trees has been faithful to its mission to beautify greater Tulsa by planting trees and creating urban forestry awareness through education. We partner with local groups and companies to give Tulsa a landscape that will benefit future generations.
2014 Community Connection Project
For the second consecutive year, the Tulsa Chapter of ALA partnered with Volunteers of America (VOA) for our fall community service project, Community Connection. Early Saturday morning, October 4th, twelve faithful chapter members, business partners, and family members gathered at the residence of two adult men who live with Prader-Willi Syndrome.
We were joined by Holly McGannon with VOA and several Home Depot employees. Home Depot was gracious enough to donate plants, soil, mulch, paint and painting supplies, and our volunteers brought equipment and supplies from home, as well. Our group split up, with half working outside and the other half inside. The outdoor crew pulled out wayward vine growth, trimmed hedges and bushes in both the front and back yards, cleaned out the overgrown flower beds, and hauled off a big brush pile. We planted greenery and flowers in the beds and laid down mulch.
Meanwhile, the indoor crew patched walls in the hallways and dining room and then painted those rooms plus a large great room. The dining room became a stunning sage green, the hallway eggshell and the living room was brightened with a brilliant white. Because of the size of the rooms and the multiple coats of paint required, the outdoor crew came to the rescue and helped finish the painting by 12:30.
2013 Community Connection Project
On October 12, 2013, ALA Tulsa members and business partners met on an early Saturday morning to help with ALA Tulsa’s 2013 Community Connection project which partnered with Volunteers of America – Tulsa.
Among the many programs offered, Volunteers of America – Tulsa provides affordable housing to seniors and residential support to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Our 2013 project was to assist with the clean up of an overgrown yard and plant some flowerbeds for one of their homes which houses severely handicapped individuals requiring 24/7 care. In addition to seeing many willing volunteers, members used a chain saw, loppers, handsaws, shovels, spades and rakes to assist with the project. Members and business partners were encouraged and welcome to bring family members and friends. Appreciation is expressed to Monica Champ and Samantha Estes with Volunteers of America – Tulsa who made this project possible.
2012 Community Connection Project
As we have done twice in the past, ALA Tulsa’s 2012 Community Connection project was to partner with Habitat for Humanity to help complete a new home for a qualified family in need. The 2012 build was held on November 3 at a location on East Easton in Tulsa with our group working from 8:00 a.m. until noon. As has been the case for us in past years, members, spouses and business partners came together for a meaningful morning of work. In previous Habitat work, we’ve applied siding to outbuildings and helped construct the wood frame of a home – all out-side activity. We did detail work inside including sanding and varnishing cabinets, caulking around windows and doors, taping off door and drawer hardware, and painting interior trim and doors. WOW! The close quarters and tedium of the tasks gave us a new appreciation for skills well outside the norm for many of us. But everyone worked hard and accomplished a LOT in just those few hours. Outreach Committee Chair, Kevin Mathews, said, ―I personally learned a great deal about the hard work that goes into building a home and now have a completely new appreciation for the crew who built my own home! Kevin and her committee would like to thank every-one who made the effort to invest their personal time in this worthwhile endeavor. Kevin went on to say, ―Partnering with Habitat for Humanity does so many good things for our community and it truly does make your heart smile when you help others in need.
2011 CCW Event
ALA Tulsa members, business partners and family participated in “planting, preserving and promoting Tulsa’s urban forest” with Up With Trees on a beautiful Saturday morning, October 15. The organization’s message: Tree by tree, you can help grow Tulsa’s urban forest. Every tree planted in Tulsa not only makes our community more beautiful, it makes it more livable. Join Up With Trees, Tulsa’s non-profit urban forestry leader, and leave a green legacy for future generations.
“With the generous support of donors, we plant along streets and trails, in parks, schools, fire stations, neighborhoods, and many other public properties. Our mission is to beautify greater Tulsa by planting trees and to create urban forestry awareness.” For more than 30 years, Up With Trees has beautified Tulsa one tree at a time. Back in 1976, Tulsa faced a serious problem. After close to 80 years of growth and progress, the city’s urban forest was shrinking. Development, storms and disease had taken a toll. Experts estimated that Tulsa’s urban forest was 200,000 trees short.
The issue came to a head in 1974 when 51st Street was being widened. A high school student called then-Streets Commissioner Sid Patterson and asked what the city was doing to replace the trees lost during the project. In fact, the city was doing little. In Tulsa’s energy-driven economy, times were hard and there were no funds available for trees, let alone the labor to plant and maintain them.
Patterson mulled over the challenge made by the teenage activist. Indeed, citizens of Tulsa should be concerned about their environment and trees are an important part of nature’s ecosystem. But where to find the funds and labor to accomplish the task? The street commissioner organized groups of Tulsa Garden Club members, landscape architects and representatives from several civic groups. The problem was discussed and plans formulated. In 1976, Up With Trees was born.
2010 CCW Event
To help those in need tackle their everyday challenges, the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) created its Community Challenge Weekend (CCW) program in 1999. The mission of CCW is to encourage ALA chapters, its members, firms, vendors, relatives and friends to come together to contribute time, energy and resources toward improving their own communities.
Collection and donation of professional attire to Dress for Success.
Dress for Success promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. Dress for Success is an international not-for-profit organization offering services designed to help women find jobs and remain employed. Each Dress for Success client receives one suit when she has a job interview and can return for a second suit or separates when she finds work.
Collection and donation of non-perishable food items to the Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.
According to the USDA, Oklahoma ranks fourth in the nation in “very low food security,” and sixth in “food insecurity”. Food insecurity means that at times during the year a household has difficulty providing enough food for all its members due to lack of resources. Chapter members and business partners are invited to participate by collecting non-perishable food items and in packaging the food for distribution on October 9, 2010 from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. at the Food Bank.
Habitat 2009 CCW Project
On a beautiful fall day, more than fifteen Tulsa legal administrators, business partners and guests joined Tulsa’s Habitat for Humanity in beginning a new house build. We began with a “clean slate,” a freshly poured foundation with no walls.
Our job was simple, erect all of the exterior and interior walls before we left for the day. By 1:00 p.m. the project was completed, the walls were up, and many parts of our bodies were sore.
But, the joy of helping those in need, working with and building deeper friendships, made it all worth while. What will be in store for next year?
Habitat For Humanity Project – 2008 CCW
What happens when one gathers 20 ALA members, vendors, family members and vinyl siding? A lot of teamwork and fun! On the windy morning of Saturday, November 8, we met at a north Tulsa location where 4 houses were being completed in time f or the families to move in before Thanksgiving. Our mission – to install vinyl siding on all four of the sheds – and to make it tougher – the siding had to match the color of each house!
I don’t know about you but I have never installed siding before but thanks to the teamwork and a little guidance from the contractor we completed the project by 1:00 that day with no major injuries to boot! Albeit, I had a hard time getting out of bed the next day but I believe fun was had by all and several of us have learned a new skill or two.
Some noteworthy comments received were as follows: A worthy and productive project. Thank you for inviting us. I sure had a good time doing it – never have done siding myself, so that was an experience! Always fun to watch the dynamics on group projects! Our office had a wonderful time and we all enjoyed it as well! We all kicked butt! It was FUN!!! I did enjoy the project and have the added knowledge that we could side a house in a pinch!
Julee Thomas, 2008 ALA Tulsa Community Outreach Chair
2008 Smile Train Project
Help Change the World—One Smile at a Time
In 2008, as part of the 10th anniversary of Community Challenge Weekend (CCW), ALA celebrated this milestone by undertaking a special one-time organizational effort to help make a difference in the lives of children around the world. For this commitment, we were asked to support The Smile Train, an international charity whose mission is to provide free surgeries to thousands of children who suffer from cleft lips and palates.
Clefts are a major problem in developing countries. Most children with unrepaired clefts cannot eat or speak properly, aren’t allowed to attend school or hold a job, and face very difficult lives filled with shame and isolation, pain, and heartache.
Since 2000, The Smile Train has provided this important surgery for more than 350,000 children who would otherwise never receive it. (The average age of a Smile Train patient is 6 years old.) The organization also has helped train over 23,000 medical professionals and has established programs and partners in 76 countries.
While one might think that these surgeries are expensive and take a lot or time … that is not the case. Cleft repair surgery is relatively inexpensive to perform (as little as $250) and takes as little as 45 minutes. That’s all it takes to give a desperate child not just a new smile, but a new life.
The Tulsa Chapter participated by selling Montag Candles (Montag being a local Tulsa area vendor) during the holidays. Through the efforts of several firms, we are sending Smile Train a check in the amount of $1,422.84 which will help change the lives of 6 children as they receive corrective surgery for their “smiles”. Thanks to all the firms that participated by selling candles.
October 2006 – “Fall Festival Fun!”
The Tulsa ALA Chapter chose to provide a fall festival for the children of the Laura Dester Center (Department of Human Services), which is a 24-hour stopping point between troubled homes and foster care. For Halloween, we provided an avenue for them to create decorations while providing some camaraderie with our members and their peers by providing several games and a photo opp! We set up craft areas for the children’s involvement.
Craft stations offered Dryer Sheet Ghosts & Cat Bags, Halloween Banners, Q-tip Skeletons, Sparkling Spiders, Pumpkin Garland, Wooden Cats and Jack-o-lantern painting and Pumpkin and Cookie Decorating. One of our members owns a Harley Davidson motorcycle which he brought and allowed the children to have their pictures taken on or with.
The children (of all ages) hopped on the Harley and received a Polaroid picture of themselves “riding” on the bike. Games consisted of musical chairs (using “Halloween” type music), and a bean bag toss. Prizes were awarded to all participants. A highlight for all of the children was face painting by a member’s husband. He created a piece of art on each child’s face! One of our business partners provided bags filled with candy and various trinkets. The children used these bags to hold their finished craft items too. ALA Tulsa received a certificate for its participation in ALA’s 8th Annual Community Challenge Weekend – October 2006.
October 2005 – Anderson Elementary Graduation
Anderson Elementary Graduation:
ALA Tulsa was grateful to our partnering business partners and law firms for their assistance in making the 5th grade graduation day at Anderson Elementary a tremendous success. The ceremony took place on June 9th in the school auditorium and our own Andrea Everage was one of the featured speakers. Thanks to the financial support of our chapter and the generosity of our business partners and law firms, each student received a personalized engraved medallion as well as an ALA tote bag (graciously provided by ALA headquarters) containing candy, educational supplies and dental hygiene items. The students, faculty, parents and guests were treated to cake and punch following the ceremony.
Anderson Elementary School:
Beginning in 2001, ALA Tulsa adopted the second grade class at Anderson, an at-risk school in Tulsa. In the following years, we continued this partnership and moved with the children as they changed grades. Throughout these years, 2001-2005, ALA Tulsa enjoyed working with Anderson in a variety of ways: (1) facilitating donations of warm clothing and school supplies, hosting class parties, rewarding school attendance, providing Christmas “grab bags” and Summer Fun Notebooks for each child in the adopted grade and painting a large mural in the school’s hallway; (2) providing a channel through which various law firms could make direct contributions to the school (computers, desks and supplies); and (3) providing additional hands-on educational opportunities, i.e., mobile aquarium visit and planting flowers in school flower bed.
Anderson is considered a “low-performing” school in the state because more than 30 percent of its students have scored below satisfactory levels in reading, English and math in the past years. However, in September of 2004, the Oklahoma State Department of Education released its Academic Performance Index scores stating that Anderson was one of the two schools showing “the greatest improvements among elementary schools. The API score for Anderson is 1,016, compared to 360 last year.”