OOLOGAH, Okla. — Cherokee Nation recently contributed funds to the Oologah Senior Citizens Center to cook and deliver a Thanksgiving meal for up to 80 senior citizens so they can stay in this holiday and protect against the spread of COVID-19.

A portion of the contribution is also supporting the center’s Goodworks skill-building program for high school students in Rogers County.

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., Deputy Principal Chief Bryan Warner, Chief of Staff Todd Enlow and Tribal Councilor Keith Austin presented the donation during a visit to the senior citizens center on Wednesday, November 4.

“I always appreciate Councilor Austin’s leadership and the partnerships he creates in his district,” Chief Hoskin said. “Cherokee Nation contributes to senior centers and youth leadership programs all across our reservation to help provide valuable resources to our elders and students served by those programs. I am so grateful that this donation can assist the Oologah Senior Citizens Center with that effort.”

Each member of the Council of the Cherokee Nation has earmarked relief funding through the tribe’s Respond, Recover and Rebuild initiative to assist Cherokee communities. Councilor Austin is using $900 of the COVID funding to help the senior citizens center feed Thanksgiving meals this holiday.

“I applaud the Oologah Senior Citizens leadership for their creative efforts to serve the elders of Oologah,” said Councilor Austin. “Both the Goodworks project and the Thanksgiving meal delivery show great commitment to serving the community in the safest possible way.” 

The Cherokee Nation provided $1,600 from the tribe’s special projects funds for the senior center’s Goodworks program, which helps high school students learn job interview and etiquette skills as well as to work for elders to assist them with tasks.

“We just couldn’t do this without this help from Cherokee Nation,” Oologah Senior Citizens Center President Missy Barron said. “Right now, the timing is crucial. Our elders are not wanting to get out because of the weather and COVID, so the fact that we can start this program and the Goodworks program with the help of the tribe is just amazing. We are just super grateful and excited.”