TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Cherokee Nation recently contributed $195,000 to eight Boys & Girls Club programs throughout Northeast Oklahoma.
Recipients of the funding include clubs in Adair, Cherokee, Delaware, Mayes, Nowata, Rogers, Sequoyah and Washington counties.
Donation amounts are based on the number of Native American students in each program. In total, the eight area programs serve nearly 13,000 students, with about 60 percent being Native American.
“Some of our biggest partners in childhood development are the local chapters of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America,” said Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “Local clubs empower our youth. Because of their involvement with Boys & Girls Clubs, those children have one more positive influence in their young lives. One of the most important functions provided by these clubs is a safe place for Cherokee kids to go before and after school.”
Since 2008, the Cherokee Nation has given more than $2.5 million to help Boys & Girls Club programs across the tribe’s reservation. The clubs develop character and leadership skills among all students.
This year, the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted programs and services offered by the clubs during the school year and in the summertime. Still, many of the clubs volunteered to assist with distance learning to help students who don’t have access to internet or a computer to help complete their coursework.
The funding provided by Cherokee Nation will help support current club programs as well as online distance learning. Funds will also help purchase disinfectant and social-distancing supplies to help keep student’s safe.
The Boys & Girls Club of Adair County operates multiple units, with more than 83 percent of their 2,343 participants being Native American. Their portion of this year’s contribution is more than $48,600.
“If the schools go virtual, we would house the kids that aren’t able to stay home due to parents or guardians that are employed and unable to find adequate care during this pandemic. We are looking at purchasing dividers to help with social distancing, as well as masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, thermometers, cleaning supplies and many other items needed to keep them safe,” said Boys & Girls Clubs of Adair County Schools Chief Executive Officer Kristal Diver. “This funding will help us tremendously. The funds will allow us to keep our kids safe, while helping us keep our club doors open.”
In addition, Cherokee Nation also donated more than $75,000 to 18 schools, churches and nonprofit organizations who participate in backpack programs that provide students with school supplies and after-school snacks.
The organizations partnering with the tribe for the backpack program serve 3,227 students, with more than 50 percent being Native American.
“Every year, backpack programs make a positive impact on the lives of children in need within the Cherokee Nation’s reservation. And with the current pandemic among us, these efforts are more important than ever berfore,” said Deputy Principal Chief Bryan Warner. “We have been working closely with the Council of the Cherokee Nation to make these funds available and to assess the broader issues of food insecurity brought on by COVID-19. Nothing is more important than safety and security at this time.”
The tribe donated funds from the Cherokee Nation’s donations and charitable contributions budget. This year, partnering programs received $45.83 per enrolled Native student served.
“The ongoing pandemic has shown just how vital organizations such as Boys & Girls Club and programs like the backpack program are to our youth,” said Chief Hoskin. “The Cherokee Nation is proud to continue the support of these organizations that do so much of our children, families and communities.”
The Cherokee Nation donated the following amounts to these Northeast Oklahoma Boys & Girls Clubs:
Adair County, $48,691.66
Delaware County, $16,826.88
Green Country, $4,226.17
Sequoyah County, $13,119.27
The Cherokee Nation donated the following amounts to these Northeast Oklahoma backpack programs:
Hulbert Schools, $5,499.09
Okay Public Schools, $687.39
Tahlequah Schools, $6,232.30
First Baptist Church in Warner, $3,436.93
Chandler Road Church of Christ in Muskogee, $641.56
Eastern Heights Baptist Church in Muskogee, $2,978.67
First United Methodist Church in Muskogee, $1,053.99
Oasis Community Church in Muskogee, $1,374.77
The Bod Church in Roland, $458.26
Hillside Pentecostal in Gans, $1,008.17
Lee’s Chapel Assembly of God in Muldrow, $733.21
New Life Full Gospel Church in Stilwell, $24,012.68
Craig County Neighbors Helping Neighbors, $2,199.63
Agape Mission of Bartlesville, Inc., $9,165.14
Boys and Girls Club of Nowata, $4,720.05
Oologah United Methodist Church, $916.51
Salvation Army-Rogers County in Claremore, $9,165.14
Chouteau-Mazie Schools, $916.51