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2020 VISION: United Way agency partners work with groups to serve people

  • 10 min to read
Progress United Way Chili 1 BH.jpg

Tammy Berry and Amy Biggerstaff dish out chili in the KOFM/KGWA booth at the United Way Chili Cook-off  in October 2019 inside Stride Bank Center. 

ENID, Okla. — United Way of Enid and Northwest Oklahoma, its 15 partner agencies and other nonprofits have been working with local, state and federal groups and volunteers to serve, share, care and prepare for potential needs throughout our community.

“Never ones looking for recognition, our nonprofits are really stepping up during these trying times,” said Dan Schiedel, CEO of United Way of Enid and Northwest Oklahoma. “Local leaders of our homeless shelters report that our current shelters are at capacity. So, we are in the process of looking for donors to help with the possible reopening of the Mercy House to address the challenge. We need to be prepared to help some of our most vulnerable in the event we have an outbreak of COVID-19 in our region.

2020 Vision community service logo

“During these uncertain times, we can be thankful for our nonprofits and the generous donors who support them. Recognize how blessed you/we truly are and please remember to help those who are living from paycheck to paycheck or who are on the streets or in a shelter.”

United Way provides funding assistance for 15 partner agencies through its annual campaign, as well as various fundraising, including the popular United Way Chili Cook-Off. Those agencies provide a variety of services in the community.

American Red Cross

American Red Cross in Northwest Oklahoma is headquartered in Stillwater and serves Alfalfa, Beaver, Beckham, Blaine, Cimarron, Custer, Dewey, Ellis, Garfield, Grant, Harper, Kingfisher, Lincoln, Logan, Major, Noble, Payne, Roger Mills, Texas, Washita, Woods and Woodward counties.

Red Cross responds to a disaster nearly every day — primarily home fires to provide immediate comfort, immediate care and immediate assistance to families when they need it most.

Booker T. Washington Community Center

Booker T. Washington Com­munity Center opened in 1982 and typically provides an after-school program, fitness and other facilities for the public and a summer program for students.

The facility, located at 800 S. 5th, is a nonprofit organization and offers after-school programs August through May.

Catholic Charities

The Enid regional office of Catholic Charities is continuing to serve the Enid area with social services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The counseling, Family HOPE case management and emergency assistance services are being provided while refraining from face-to-face visits.

“Because Enid Catholic Charities started using tele-health for counseling services in January, we were practiced and prepared to now provide all counseling and case management services remotely,” said Stacy Kurtz, director of the Enid regional office. “Clients have expressed being relieved to be able to still talk with their counselor or case manager during this stressful time.”

Office hours remain 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Calls for emergency assistance services will be taken between the hours of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call the office at (580) 237-7352 to be directed to one of the staff.

Cimarron Council, BSA

Cimarron Council, BSA serves more than 5,000 Scouts and adult volunteers in 19 northwest and north central Oklahoma counties: Alfalfa, Blaine, Creek, Dewey, Ellis, Garfield, Grant, Harper, Kay, Kingfisher, Lincoln, Logan, Major, Noble, Osage, Pawnee, Payne, Woods and Woodward.

Cimarron Council serves Scouts through four service areas. From these service areas, programming and training is developed to meet the local needs of Scouts and volunteers. The four service areas are Enid, Ponca City, Stillwater and Woodward.

More than 18,000 hours of community service were provided by Scouts in the past year. Cimarron Council leads all Boy Scout councils in Oklahoma and Arkansas in percentage of trained leaders.

For the third straight year, Cimarron Council was recognized with the Chairman Southern Region Diversity Award for exemplary efforts to increase age, gender and ethnic diversity.

Community Development Support Association

CDSA is an anti-poverty agency, offering numerous human service programs in three primary areas of focus: Early childhood, self-sufficiency and community planning and development.

Currently, CDSA staff are working from home in order to do what we can to limit illness in the community. Phones are being answered and callers are being assisted by program staff. The Diaper Bank still is distributing diapers. CDSA still is addressing emergency repairs, using area contractors. Emergency assistance staff continue to work to resolve family emergencies. And, the child care resource and referral program is working with child care facilities. The YouthBuild program is operating in new ways, much of it reliant on technology and telephone contact. Rx for Oklahoma still is helping people access prescription assistance programs and with emergency medications.

Each morning, a CDSA staff member goes to the Non-profit Center, 114 S. Independence, and stocks a resource table that is located at the front doors. Resources available include material about unemployment, emergency resources, emergency repair and rental applications and other information that may be helpful right now. There also is a document drop box on the table so applications and other information can still be collected.

Denny Price Family YMCA

For more 75 years, Denny Price Family YMCA has continuously evolved to meet the changing needs of the Enid community.

“And today, our community is going through unprecedented challenges. Though our doors may be closed, we are still working to meet the needs of our friends and neighbors in these uncertain times,” said Kim Boeckman, organizational leader. “That’s why we’re asking our members and the community at large to stay with us.

Each year, Denny Price Family YMCA reaches more than 10,000 people in Enid through programs that help everyone reach their full potential, including LIVESTRONG at the YMCA, after-school program, Safety Around Water program and summer feeding. Since the COVID- 19 situation arose, the Y shifted its focus and responded as the needs of Enid changed.

The Y will provide emergency child care beginning April 13 for first responders, health care workers and essential personnel. The Y will work with Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and Loaves & Fishes to provide healthy meals and snacks to children.

“We are also creating pathways to continue to engage our senior population,” Boeckman said. “Our seniors, many of whom live alone, are feeling isolated and vulnerable right now, and we are committed to helping them feel connected during this scary time.”

Denny Price Family YMCA also is seeking new members and is asking current members to renew.

“With our doors closed, your membership dollars will now help us continue this important work,” Boeckman said. “For anyone who is not a Y member, please considering joining or donating today to help support our efforts. You can do so by emailing or going to”

Garfield County Child Advocacy Council

Garfield County Child Advocacy Council provides services for abused and neglected children and their families at its CARE campus.

GCCAC provides forensic services to authorities to assist with investigations into abuse or neglect. A specially trained interviewer speaks with the child in a child-friendly, home-like setting. This interview is both developmentally appropriate and legally sound. These interviews are recorded and become the property of the investigator for use in future prosecution. The other forensic service provided is a physical examination done to reassure the children that their bodies are OK and to collect any physical evidence.

GCCAC also provides victim advocates who assess the needs of the family and make referrals that are designed to begin the healing process for the child and the entire family. Referrals to therapists specially trained to work with families and children who have experienced abuse are made. The victim advocate can keep working with the family until the family decides services are no longer needed.

If it determined during the investigation that the child is not safe in the family home and is removed, the court becomes involved and can order the services of a specially trained volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate, or CASA. The center volunteer coordinators recruit, screen, train and supervise these volunteers. After 40 hours of training, the CASA is sworn in by the court and can be assigned to a case when requested. This training and continued supervision is provided on the CARE campus.

Also located on the campus is the reunification house known as the White House. This is a house available for use by Department of Human Services for visits between a child in out-of-home placement and the biological parents. The parents and child, with the guidance of the DHS worker, can learn to relate to each other in much the same way that they will when reunified.

Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma

Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma provides opportunities for girls kindergarten through 12th grade.

It’s mission statement reads: “Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.”

Hedges Regional Speech and Hearing Center

The spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 has caused many changes in how Hedges Speech & Hearing provides services.

Hedges has taken precautions in accordance with the CDC, governmental entities and professional organizations to help minimize the spread of this virus.

Those precautions include:

• Transitioning to tele-therapy.

• Speech-language pathologists working with schools concering ongoing therapy plans.

• Curbside service for hearing aids needing repairs. Call ahead to arrange hearing aid drop-off from your car. For hearing aid wearers in a retirement center, the retirement center can contact Hedges and someone will pick up, repair and return hearing aids to the facility.

• March Silent Movie fundraiser was postponed to a time to be determined.

Hedges Regional Speech and Hearing Center has provided speech and language pathology and audiology services since 1955.

Hedges is focused on service to clients of all ages. Hedges strives to provide up-to-date therapy and is the only nonprofit speech/language center in Northwest Oklahoma.

Human Services Alliance of Greater Enid

Human Services Alliance of Greater Enid identifies community needs and encourages coordination of community services in order to fill service gaps without duplication of effort.

The alliance is a joint venture of service entities that identifies urgent community problems; researches existing programs as possible solutions to local problems; makes the best use of available funds; reduces duplication of effort; encourages and coordinates joint community service initiatives; and involves local residents in solving local problems.

Progress United Way Chili 2 BH.jpg

Gladys Nokes serves chili in the Golden Oaks booth as a kazoo band plays behind her during the United Way Chili Cook-off Friday, Oct. 25, 2019 inside Stride Bank Center. 

Loaves & Fishes of Northwest Oklahoma

Loaves & Fishes of Northwest Oklahoma, which feeds hundreds of people each week, has made the decision to move to boxed food distribution, rather than in-person shopping at the food resource center, during the COVID-19 crisis.

Pre-packed boxes of food will be handed out in a drive-through setting in the agency’s parking lot, said Lydia Kelley, executive director. Normal shopping in our pantry has stopped temporarily, and boxes will be the sole way of food distribution until the risk of infection has passed, but Loaves & Fishes still will try to provide fresh produce, meat and dairy items to its clients.

The drive-through will be open 3-6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

“Loaves & Fishes NWOK would like to assure our clients that we have plenty of food,” Kelley said. “With ongoing support from the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, we are confident that we can continue providing assistance. To receive food, clients need to bring a photo ID and proof of residency in our service area. We also need to have IDs and/or documentation for each person living in the household. This information can be found on our website at”

Loaves & Fishes also needs volunteers to help distribute food. Call (580) 540-9830.

RSVP of Enid

According to Executive Director Christy Baker, RSVP of Enid’s mission is to create the holistic approach to aging, to help combat the negative effects of the senior trifecta: Being on a low fixed income; being physically limited; and having little to no adequate transportation. RSVP created new programs and volunteer opportunities to aid in the quality control to senior living. From nutrition to transportation to socialization, RSVP offers a resource for senior needs to include Mobile Meal delivery, handyman service, commodity box delivery, transportation and companionship through the RSVP Senior Social Center, Alzheimer’s support, and an added safety net through the Elder Abuse Task Force.

“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have targeted solutions to ensure that food-insecure and socially isolated older adults can stay fed and healthy during the crisis with a succession plan for continued access to nutrition,” Baker said. “Nearly two-thirds of our Mobile Meals and commodity box recipients report these meals and pantry food as more than half of their food intake for the day. When there is a crisis, there are also solutions, and we are that for more than 200 seniors, every day in Enid.”


Salvation Army Enid, a United Way agency, has several programs to help feed people in the community. 

Salvation Army Enid

Salvation Army of Enid is continuing its work to combat hunger, homelessness and hopelessness. Services are provided with some changes to protect staff, volunteers and recipients.

Services offered include groceries from the food pantry; utility assistance programs; community meal; shelter for men and women; transitional apartments for families with children; hygiene kits; shower facilities; and laundry services.

For questions about services or to set up an appointment, call our offices at (580) 237-1910 or on Facebook to The Salvation Army of Enid Oklahoma.

Youth & Family Services of North Central Oklahoma

As an essential service provider, Youth & Family Services of North Central Oklahoma still is operational to meet the emotional and mental health needs of people in the community.

“In order to protect the health and safety of our clients and staff, some of our service delivery methods have changed,” said Tree Perkins, director of development. “However, you can still count on us to deliver the same great, quality service you’ve become accustomed to.”

Youth and Family Services offers TeleHealth services to provide counseling services via HIPAA-compliant ZOOM or DOXY, FaceTime and telephone. In-person counseling, including small group counseling, still is held at the agency, where YFS follows stringent CDC guidelines.

Thanks to a grant from United Way, YFS is offering a free helpline for those who may be experiencing anxiety, sadness, fear or perhaps just a need to hear a friendly voice. The helpline will be open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week at (866) 324-2085.

YFS drug court treatment staff continues to provide drug and alcohol services through TeleHealth. More than 90% of those clients have successfully switched to TeleHealth in the first week of the crisis.

Residential services also continue. Extra precautions are taken for both adult transitional living participants and youth in the emergency shelter. Visitors are not allowed at this time.


YWCA Enid is the source for help if you have suffered domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. Call the 24/7 Crisis Hotline at 1-800-966-7644.

YWCA Enid operates the Crisis Center, an 11-bedroom shelter for battered women and their children escaping domestic violence. Programs are designed to help provide survivors with the empowerment they need to transition to a life free of violence. Survivors and their children can stay in the emergency shelter where their basic needs are provided.

Advocates are available to assist with a variety of things, including safety planning, assisting with protective orders and providing information on legal rights and services.


Golfers "Putt in a Cup" for Enid Community Clinic's free mammograms through Oklahoma Project Women during the 27th annual United Way Golf Tournament and Ronna Richards Memorial Fundraiser at Meadowlake Golf Course in 2014. 

The SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) Nurse is available to survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and strangulation for medical attention while also completing the proper collection of forensic evidence for medical and legal documentation.

Another service of YWCA Enid is My Sister’s Closet, which assists women and their families with clothing and household items. The on-site donation facility provides gently used or donated clothing for women, men and children, as well as furniture and household goods for those making a new home.

2020 Vision: All Community Service stories

editor's pick topical featured top story
  • 10 min to read

“During these uncertain times, we can be thankful for our nonprofits and the generous donors who support them. Recognize how blessed you/we truly are and please remember to help those who are living from paycheck to paycheck or who are on the streets or in a shelter.” — Dan Schiedel, CEO of United Way of Enid and Northwest Oklahoma.

  • 3 min to read

One might think Keith Schwandt has his hands full as regional community president and executive vice president of InterBank, but he doesn’t stop there. Schwandt also is chairman of the board of directors for Integris Bass Baptist Hospital Foundation, a board of trustees member for Cherokee Strip Community Foundation, a board of directors member for Loaves & Fishes of Northwest Oklahoma and a member of Enid Rotary Club.

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2020 Vision is a special section that will publish in the Enid News & Eagle for eight Sundays in February, March and April 2020. The section is designed to feature individuals, businesses and organizations in Enid and Northwest Oklahoma that work every day for the betterment of the region and its residents. This section, which published April 12, 2020, focuses on Community Service.


Read all sections at 2020 Vision: All stories


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