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Yes!!! Miracle(s) Among The Ruins: We Did It, Thank You; We Are Doing Even More, Come Join The Movement

It is my pleasure and privilege to tell you that the Miracle Among The Ruins, version one, is happening. Over the weekend we raised the final amount needed to close on the property. So thank you, thank you, thank you, and now let's keep the good things coming... Read other posts below about the community garden kitchen park project underway here; and if you haven't donated to it, we still need support; buying the property is the first step but we will need to buy supplies, and pay for construction of the new areas.

Keep reading this to hear some new developments in our latest ongoing big projects for renewing our area. We will do them too with your participation. Another world is not only possible, but is here among us, emerging.

1. All of you who have donated to the Miracle Among the Ruins Welcome Table Project have been helping us get double out of our donations, as we can also now it is hoped use our ownership of the property as part collateral on the down payment for our own two and a half times bigger building of our own we are seeking to purchase
I am planning on Wednesday, the day after closing on this property, to take paperwork to Spirit Bank to begin seeking the loan on our own building purchase of an old church site in the old historic business district of the Turley area. Important not only as history in our area, and a much needed way to expand and grow our presence and get us closer to school traffic and others in our service area, but it is a justice action in our area each time we are able to take and transform such a large abandoned building and turn it into a vibrant place for community. Keeping and turning over dollars into our own community so much in need of that very thing.

I am a very reluctant owner of any property or building, in general, as it often in some communities turns into an "edifice complex" and impedes the mission or becomes the mission; but this is good for the community, taking an abandoned building and actually using it in service to the community, helping to revitalize an abandoned areas itself. Many times even churches come into our area and use our buildings and then move on when they "outgrow" them. In contrast, we want the community to "outgrow" us. So this will become Miracle Among The Ruins, version 2.

2. Plus we have the purchase of the green space and bird sanctuary and children's safety space project along 61st St. between the school and the mobile home park and OBrien Park that we can now begin moving to get, especially partnering with local nature socieities such as Audubon and others. This area is an unsafe but travelled area for children, and another opportunity to create a place of peace and nature sanctuary in our area.

3. We are helping to take the lead on a rural economic grant and a Safe Routes to School partnership federal grant project with Cherokee School and INCOG and we hope the State Dept. of Transportation. Our currently developing project for sidewalks and lights, bike path and beautification around Cherokee School will not only provide more safety for students, but will be better for small struggling businesses nearby. We will work to slow traffic down, making it more like what it used to be decades ago, a microcommunity or small town downtown, hoping to use it as a draw to also attract new businesses to the renovated area.

4. We are working with McLain High School on its transformation, joining with its new school and community foundation, supporting its magnet programs, helping to promote the good changes academically that have been happening there. Growing our partnerships with the schools that prepare students for McLain as well. Looking for ways to help parents help students, to help students who have dropped out, by partnering with the library, schools and others. Stay tuned for programs emerging here in these and many other educational fronts.

5. We are helping shape a major new health care delivery initiative with OU for lay health advisors in neighborhoods, a project that if you saw writer Janet Pearsons editorial in Sundays Tulsa World you can see will be part of a national reform movement, all beginning here. We are working to support on one end the new specialty clinic in north Tulsa by OU, and on the preventive end to create a network of paid lay health advisors, people who live in the underserved and unhealthy areas, who can both help their neighbors with health concerns but who can also teach the care providers about the on the ground issues problems and realities of the communities and the lives of those receiving care. By taking health care out of a centralized location and a one size fits all way of providing and paying for care, the traditional clinic, we begin to turn inside out the way health is grown.

6. Growing our "day to day" miracles among the ruins by what happens at the Center, clinic, library, donation room, computer area, meetingspace, food pantry, and with our projects at the schools and other places. The second, third, and fourth weekends of September and the first weekend of October we will be engaged in hands on community renewal work, and partnering with social work students to help our Center better fulfill our world-changing mission "to create beloved community" through our small acts of justice...Next month we will be doing community work with social work students and residents on the second, third, and fourth Saturdays on beautification and renewal projects at Greeley School and other places in our area. See the calendar of events elsewhere on the website. Also know We are making a focus this year as well on diversity and respect of cultures, and on veterans, and on volunteers. Stay tuned.

You all are making such a difference in the world, just by sharing this with others, by coming and helping, coming and participating, and it is a joy to behold what may come in the next three years based on what all has happened in these, our first three years. Thanks again.

Ron Robinson, Executive Director, A Third Place Community Foundation

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