Community support thrives in the midst of Coronavirus pandemic

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“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news,” Rogers said to his television neighbors, “my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”
— Fred Rogers

A reassuring line for preschoolers has become a call to action for people everywhere when disaster strikes. This week we’re shining a light on a few examples that have hit the streets locally to begin providing for those in Sapulpa and surrounding communities in big ways.

Meals On Wheels Metro Tulsa

“We’ve been working on getting to Sapulpa for a while,” Calvin Moore, President of Meals on Wheels Metro Tulsa told Sapulpa Times on Tuesday morning.

Meals on Wheels’ Bob Beard hands meals to Sapulpa Fire Chief David Taylor at the kickoff of Meals on Wheels coming to Sapulpa.

Nearly everyone was clad in a mask and doing their best to keep a safe distance from one another, but the Coronavirus was not going to keep them from achieving their goal of delivering meals and kindness to those in the community who needed it. The public launch of the program was going to be for a handful of deliveries, but Moore told said there had been at least fifty new clients sign up in the last week, and more were coming. “We’re expecting to get to 250 pretty quickly,” he said.

For now, Meals on Wheels was also going to take over the food kitchen program of Sapulpa’s First Presbytarian Church, said Charlie Johnson, who oversees missions for FPC. “We were feeding 120 people every week, and that was before all this hit.” FPC hands out meals to anyone who needs it, including the homeless and food insecure, and Johnson says it’s not their own people who are signing up, but others. “We don’t have a single Presbytarian coming through there. We’re just serving everyone else. They do not have to be a part of our church to get a meal. We don’t prequalify or anything.”

Moore says getting to the Tuesday launch has been a long time coming. “We were going to get started in June, but thanks to the collaboration and some of the folks in the community who have been staunch advocates, we’re able to step it up to April and begin meeting these needs now.”

Vickie Beyer of The Make Sense Foundation hands meals to a resident for Meals on Wheels.

Moore says that for now, it will be paid drivers that will deliver to the homes in the area, but once we’re allowed to begin mingling again, there’s going to be a large need for additional volunteers. He says there’s more to it than delivering meals.

“They get a meal, but they also get a wellness check, to help mitigate those feelings of loneliness.” Meals On Wheels also provides special programs for assistance with feeding pets and even home repair. “Our goal is for these people to be able to live independently for as long as possible, and not be forced into assisted living prematurely.” Moore says.

If you or someone you know could benefit from Meals On Wheels, you can learn more about their programs at mealsonwheelstulsa.org

Sam’s Southern Eatery

The cajun-style restaurant known for plentiful portions is facing the same setbacks as any other restaurant being forced to drive-thru and carryout services only, except for owner Sammy, it hits a bit closer to home.

Sammy’s family is from Jerusalem, and when he and his wife visited their family for Christmas last year, he left before them to get back to work. Before his family could return to the United States, the country went into lockdown, leaving them unable to return. Sammy hasn’t gotten to see his wife or his children since, except for nightly calls and FaceTime. But Sammy’s response is to remember that even his situation is not unique in the face of a global pandemic. “It’s not just us that this is happening to. It’s the whole world. The whole world is hurting right now,” he says.

As a response to help the community, Sammy is offering 20% discounts to any first responder, veteran or law enforcement officer that chooses to patronize his “Home of the Jumbo Shrimp” but he’s not stopping there. Sammy has also designated Mondays and Tuesdays from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM as times where anyone who can’t afford to pay can come get a meal on the house, no questions asked.

“We’re not worried about people taking advantage,” Sammy said. “We just want to support the community. If we support each other, we will get through this.”

Dick’s On 66

For a restaurant that hasn’t officially opened yet, Dick’s On 66 is sure making big waves in the local community, particularly with those who are on a limited income and dealing with food insecurity.

The soon-to-open restaurant sits right across from the Wells Building, where many of its senior residents promised to become regular patrons. Owners Tyler and Angie Goins began to consider how difficult it would be for folks with limited income and limited mobility to feed themselves when most of their options were closed. The Goins recruited a few others to help, and immeddiately began delivering meals to residents in the Wells Building and the Berryhill Building down the street. Soon they had added Youth Services of Creek County to the list. By Thursday, just three weeks later, they had given away their 1,617th meal. 

Cathedral of Love Church

Volunteers unload food at Cathedral of Love Church on Friday afternoon. 

Six trucks with trailers full of boxed food rolled into the parking lot of The Cathedral of Love church on Friday afternoon to a crowd of over 200  people who had turned out to benefit from the charity. The program was sponsored by Cathedral of Love, Flipper Chapel Church, St. Johns Baptist Church, Mt. Olive Baptist Church, Wings of a Dove, King Solomon Baptist Church, Macedonia Baptist Church, 7th Day Solid Rock Church, Calvary Baptist Church and Miller Hospice.

Other Emergency Food Organizations

(compiled by Brooke DeLong)

Caring Community Friends located at 12 West Burnham Ave in Sapulpa is offering drive-up emergency food by appointment on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. For an appointment, please call 918-224-6464. Thursday is their drive-up fresh market day. The lobby is closed until further notice.

Guts Church is offering free groceries every Friday from 10-2 at their Tulsa campus located at 9120 East Broken Arrow Expressway, Tulsa 74145

Micah Choquette

Micah Choquette

Micah is the owner/Editor-In-Chief of Sapulpa Times and passionate about telling the everyday stories in the town that we love. You can find him on Twitter at @meetmicah or email him at news@sapulpatimes.com.

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