It may at times fly under the radar, but in Stillwater, there are many community centric organizations that make it their goal to help those less fortunate in our area.
For these organizations to provide services for thousands of people in Payne County each month, it takes a collaborative effort between organizations to help the people who need it most.
One example of two organizations coming together to benefit the community at large occurred recently with Life.Church donating $5,000 to Our Daily Bread. ODB relies on donations from numerous sources, including churches and businesses, to provide groceries to people in poverty.
“In order to successfully meet that need, funding needs to come from our community,” Our Daily Bread Executive Director Becky Taylor said. “So we’ve had a lot of churches, individuals and businesses give us money, and Life.Church just started doing that, as well. So their gifts in addition to the gifts we get from lots of other churches, it means that we can keep doing what we’re doing.”
For Zach Hurley, Life.Church Stillwater LifeGroups/LifeMissions pastor, the donations given out by the church are meant to help an organization in the pursuit of its ultimate purpose.
“Every one of our Life.Church campuses, we do partnerships with great organizations in our communities,” Hurley said. “We make sure that we can just better meet the needs of people that live where we are. In Stillwater, we have seven organizations that we partner with that we try to provide financial resources to. We connect volunteers just to help them do more of the mission that they’ve kind of set out to do. One of the things we like to say is that we can do infinitely more together than we can apart, so when we get to partner with people doing great things we get to further both of our missions.”
The grant to Our Daily Bread will go toward everyday costs for providing food to the 1,200 families helped each month in Payne County.
“We say at Our Daily Bread that, ‘It takes a village to fight hunger,’ and I really mean that,” Taylor said. “It takes not just the staff, but it takes churches and it takes businesses just coming together and saying they care about their community and the people in it.”
This grant kicks off the partnership between Life.Church and Our Daily Bread. Hurley said due to the number of volunteers needed to provide the services that Our Daily Bread offers, the partnership has the potential to be one of the more significant for Life.Church. He also said the way Our Daily Bread is able to connect with the people they help is another reason the church decided to donate to ODB.
“One of the things that’s really special about them is, it would be easy to basically make a food bank and you kind of meet someone’s physical needs and that’s kind of the end of the road,” Hurley said. “But they invest in people … for one, they maintain people’s dignity by the way they shop, and they also have someone walk with them every step of the way where you can really make relationships with those people. The relationships is really where change comes from, so that whole idea is really important to us and one of the main reasons we decided to partner up with them.”