The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

April 13, 2013

Dream big

Northcutt learned about the rewards of volunteering by watching parents

By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — If you’re looking for someone to get something done, call Christy Northcutt.

Northcutt is one of Enid’s foremost volunteers and has been active since she was in school in Enid.

She is a member of the Leonardo’s Discovery Warehouse’s and Enid Arts Council boards of directors and chairwoman of Kennedy Center Partners Education Program.

Northcutt said she is excited about the organizations, calling Leonardo’s a unique quality children’s museum and pointing out how the Arts Council raises money for local arts projects in schools.

“The money invested can help hundreds of programs,” she said.

The Kennedy Center sponsors an annual workshop for teachers that shows them how to integrate arts in their teaching. That will add to the learning enjoyment of children and can raise test scores, she said. The program receives great attendance from Enid teachers, she said.

Northcutt learned community service from her parents, following her mother to Junior Welfare League activities and her father to his church projects.

“They taught me that it’s good to give by volunteering and to answer the call to be a volunteer,” Northcutt said.

She also joined the vocal group Up With People the summer between her junior and senior year, traveling with 120 people from 120 different countries.

“I learned to appreciate diversity and what everyone brings to the table,” she said.

The group stayed with host families in the countries they visited and also had the opportunity to learn about different culture and share her own.

Everywhere they went community service was at the forefront of their mission

In Denver, they worked to clean out a building that would be turned into housing for low-income families.

“We never saw the final product, but we knew we were making a difference,” Northcutt said.

In Australia, they observed water therapy for autistic children in schools. They could not do it everyday because there were not enough volunteers. But Northcutt and her Up With People group volunteered and got every child in the water.

“The joy on their face made it worth it,” she said.

Volunteerism makes an individual feel that he or she receives more than is put in, she said.

“It’s a gift you give, and it’s amazing in that it’s a gift that gives back to you,” she said.

Northcutt also started the Be Fit Kids program in Enid. The program sponsors running events for children, including a Buzz Run that features a 50-yard dash for young children and 100-yard dash for older children, along with a health and fitness festival. She observed a similar program while visiting a friend in Ohio. When she returned she could not find one in Oklahoma so she started one in Enid. It is now part of the Early Childhood Development program of Community Development Support Association.

Northcutt also started a stroller fit program for mothers with children in strollers. As her own children grew out of strollers, she passed the program along to one of her instructors.

Northcutt is an Enid native, graduating from Enid High School. She attended William Woods University in Fulton, Mo., earning a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. Even in college she received the volunteerism award her senior year.

She had not planned on returning to Enid. While living in Tulsa, she bought a house and the same week began dating Scott Northcutt who now is her husband.

Talking about volunteerism, Northcutt said “dream big, find good people to help you and celebrate your results.”