Earlier this week, Sapulpa Elks Lodge 1118 at 24 S. Poplar Street, decided to help out those who might have to fend for themselves for shelter during the frigid temperatures that had already battered the state but were expecting to get worse over the weekend.
Sapulpa Elks Lodge member and City Councilor Brian Stephens helped organize and execute a small but mighty movement to open up the lodge for anyone who might need to take shelter from the storm. As word went out on Facebook, the community began to respond in a big way.
“We’re overwhelmed with the donations,” Stephens told Sapulpa Times on Friday. “The community has really come out and given us everything we’ve needed, from food to money to sleeping bags.”
And the generosity hasn’t been restricted to just Sapulpa, either. “Someone today dropped off two dozen donuts,” Stephens said. “Wasn’t even from Sapulpa, just saw it on Facebook and said he wanted to help.”
The civic-minded group of youngsters called “Young Minds, Big Ideas” chipped in as well, gathering games, puzzles, and donations from other local businesses, and then rallied together in the kitchen to help serve hot dogs to those who came by.
At least one homeless person died in Tulsa this week as a result of the sub-freezing temperatures. Stephens said that anyone who was in need of shelter was welcome to come, no questions asked. “We had one guy who stayed, he wasn’t homeless, but his house didn’t have heat. He stayed with us,” he said.
Shoulder 2 Shoulder Ministries has also stepped up to help keep watch over things to make sure people stay safe and taken care of. Stephens said they had two people stay the night on Thursday and were expecting around seven or eight tonight.
The Lodge will remain open for those needing to seek shelter until at least next Thursday, February 18th.