My wish is that Oklahoma City’s spirit of caring and the number of collaborative partnerships will grow and become models for other cities.
Before I leave, I want to share my appreciation for this community.
I first synthesized the Oklahoma experience and culture into a single word when I was welcomed into the Rotary Club of Oklahoma City a couple of years ago. The word I used was “helpfulness.” It describes both everyday acts and large community efforts. I believe it was shaped by two Oklahoma cultural experiences: the pioneers who came here to start a new life who helped and were helped by their neighbors, and the collective impact of the tribes across the state who respect their heritage and customs by supporting and celebrating their communities.
I see helpfulness fully represented in the philanthropic community, people who give and those who work to help with a greater good, whether it be social justice or the arts.
There is much to be proud of … from the families who donate significant amounts of money to the sacrificial donors who give little bits, and those little bits mean a lot especially within the humanitarian sector. People give to help those less fortunate for a range of reasons — empathy, guilt, faith, responsibility, generosity — but what it comes down to is simply neighbors helping neighbors. I am very pleased to have been part of this community of givers.
Source: Guest column: OKC’s spirit of giving, partnerships can serve as models for other cities