Blackwell Associated Charities seeks help for the holiday season ahead

by Charles Gerian

Blackwell Associated Charities are getting ready for their busiest time of the year, and to help others they are in need of a little assistance themselves.

The Associated Charities Food Bank on 212 east Bridge partners with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma to serve the Blackwell, Braman, and Nardin areas for food and personal items to help families that may need assistance.

With the holiday season fast approaching, the bank is asking for the community to help them so that they may help others.

“Requests for assistance have almost doubled and, unfortunately, donations are down,” explained Julia Stuever, Associated Charities President.

“In addition to money, Associated Charities is in need of seasonal meat and other canned food goods. We don’t accept clothing, but personal hygiene items are welcome and, with colder weather coming, blankets are a must, too,” Stuever said.

In the last three months alone, Associated Charities Food Bank served 1,200 people with just under 400 of those being children and 150 being seniors.

However, despite the demand, the Food Bank only received 20 donations from groups and individuals since July 2023.

Those interested in donation or volunteering can contact Associated Charities at 580-363-1290.

Associated Charities hours are Wednesdays from 9-11 a.m. and then from 1-4:30 p.m.

For those that may need assistance from the Associated Charities Food Bank, clients will fill out paperwork including income information.

The client will then receive enough food for 4-6 meals. Food can be picked up once a month. Clients may also receive personal hygiene items per request.

Associated Charities also provides special food bags for those that are homeless. These bags consist of read-to-eat items that are easy to open.

The organization also offers free clothing vouchers to the Good Buy Shop for those in need and, when the funding allows, Associated Charities can also assist clients with utilities or other bills. Occasionally, the group will provide gas cards to clients for transportation to medical appointments.

The Blackwell Associated Charities also works with the Solemates Program to provide shoes for Blackwell Elementary School students when needed. Solemates is the brainchild of The Presbyterian Women group, overseen by Associated Charities Vice President Debbie North.

Blackwell Associated Charities helps clients to access other agencies as well including the Domestic Violence Program of North Central Oklahoma, The Survivors Resource Network, Cherokee Strip Transit, Blackwell Animal Shelter, The Good Buy Shop, New Emergency Resources, Deer Creek Food Pantry, and the Department of Human Services.