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Monday

12 Facts of Hope in Turley/NorthTulsa

Hi all. Hope these 12 areas of making a difference in the world through small acts of justice done with great love will be as inspiring to you as they have been to me, and you will explore ways to partner with us to make even more of an impact here and in your own lives and groups and families.

1. We are currently in fourth place out of 120 in the national fruit tree orchard vote to win a 40 tree orchard for far northside Tulsa. Keep voting for us daily and spreading the news. If we can remain in the top five at the end of May we will win one of the orchards from the National Fruit Tree Foundation which will come plant, teach residents, install irrigation systems. Go to
www.communitiestakeroot.com/Plant/Index/. Easy to register and vote. We have fliers and business cards about the contest if you would like to distribute them. Help us combat the food desert of our 74126 zip code.

2. This coming Monday, May 16, at 6:30 pm at our Welcome Table Community Center, 5920 N. Owasso Ave., we will be watching a special documentary being premiered on PBS marking the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Riders. Refreshments available. Bring friends to watch together. We are scheduling a whole series of films for the summer. We had a great cinco de mayo party watching the The Three Amigos and discussing the real roots of the Mexican celebration.

3. A story about our new center and the orchard and the new kitchengardenpark project, 6005 N. Johnstown Ave., ran today in the Tulsa World. You can read it and see the pictures at
http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=11&articleid=20110509_11_A13_CUTLIN403855. Share the link with others as a way to promote our orchard vote and renewal projects.

4. We are hosting a weekly bluegrass jam on Mondays at 5:30 pm at the Center. We have the neighborhood safety monthly meetings last Thursday of the month at 6:30 pm. The recovery groups meet Saturday evening. If you have an idea for a support group or regular community meeting let us know.

5. We do not have our community health clinic anymore, but the plans are evolving for a neighborhood or community health worker program in our underserved areas. I travelled with OU representatives to meet with officials at the Oklahoma Health Care Authority about the project, combining community residents and leaders with health providers and people in our neighborhoods who are repeat emergency room users. We are also working on a smaller wellness survey plan for this summer. Our Center's future Health Hub is taking shape.

6. A week ago the decision was made to close our partner in education Cherokee School. Since then we have been present with people in their grief and anger. We bought lunch for all the school teachers and staff last Friday to celebrate the ending of their testing period and to mourn the decision. We have met with parents who are exploring various options and are hoping to use our center and/or investigating charter schools or some other way to make use of the building. At the same time we will be hoping to receive invitations to partner more deeply with the remaining Tulsa public schools in our service area, and plan to help community residents have a voice in how such a vital physical building in our area will be taken care of and used for the good of the community as we meet with school officials. On Saturday May 21 we will be at Cherokee from 11 am to 3 pm for a Farewell Community Open House. Spread the word to all community residents and alumni of the school which dates back to its days before it was a Tulsa public school and was part of the Turley area school district drawing students from many miles around. You can of course read more about my comments to the School Board and others at
www.turleyok.blogspot.com and also at www.cherokeeschoolgardenjournal.blogspot.com

7. We received the materials from the Mohammed Ali Peace Garden Grant we received that we had planned to put in at Cherokee with the students there, and now will be working with community children to plant the beds elsewhere in our area, perhaps our community center. We continued to plant and care for all the vegetables gardens and native plant landscape gardens that we started before the closing decision and will continue to grow food for families and our food pantry.

8. We have been notified that because of the school closing we will not be able to host there the daily summer feeding program we have coordinated and paid for the past few years for all under 18 years old. We will be trying to find an alternate site for it that is as convenient to our area children and youth and will report our progress. Next year we hope our center is capable of handling the program ourselves; we continue to have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and drinks for any who are hungry no matter what age. We are also working with O'Brien Recreation Center to get the word out to those over 60 in our area that they can be a part of a free nutrition program at the recreation center. We have also been working on the gardening projects at the recreation Center and helping to make the park again a place that is oriented to people in the immediate area and not just those from suburbs who come in for organized sports.

9. We presented 25 plus pages of signed petitions opposing the closing of the 74126 post office here on North Peoria when we met with representatives of the USPS and Sen. Inhofe's office at the post station. We told them it was immoral to close the facility in an area where the most vulnerable needed it without the means to take advantage of alternatives as those in areas of higher income do. We told them that if the internet is causing the post office problems the solution shouldn't be to close stations in areas where people have the least amount of email and internet use. We told them that the postal authorities have not put out any signage in the leased space they use or promotion that the post office is where it is and for all the new mobile residents in the area they don't know it exists, and worse have cut the hours down so that people who cant get away to use it from 10 am to 2 pm can't use it when they would otherwise. And at the same time we have begun talking and researching how we could set up a postal support center at our community center in case they go ahead and close down our post office. Come get more petitions to distribute to protest the possible closure.

10. We have work progressing on the Welcome Table KitchenGardenPark with the north area trees and debris scheduled to be removed this week so we can begin to plant garden beds and begin scheduling events and parties in the new northside park space, even as we keep working to clear and prepare and equip the rest of the miracle among the ruins greenspace project on the hill overlooking downtown Tulsa, a bridge between neighborhoods. We are scheduling a work day on the site, 6005 N. Johnstown Ave., for this Saturday May 14 at 10 am. Start spreading the word to folks you know or groups you know that they can adopt a bed to grow their own food we will help them plant. Also this Friday, March 13, from 2 to 5 pm we will be supporting the McLain High School Greenhouse Plant Sale, 4949 N. Peoria Ave. Come see the transformation underway and support the McLain Initiative.

11. We are going to be working with one of our partners in the area, Sarah's Residential Living on N. 53rd St. to plant a garden for their use and with their residents. We had also consulted with the Dept. of Human Services to help them launch a community garden at their office on North Peoria. And we have picked back up on our initial project we did with OU Tulsa graduate social work students, the abandoned properties project; we have been touring and planning ways to bring attention to the horrible unsafe conditons of commercial abandoned buildings on North Peoria in our area, and are planning guerilla gardening actions and BYOT events, bring your own tables,where we hold community potlucks on the grounds next to the abandoned by their owner properties, and plant sunflowers, and try to work with owners when we can locate them to clean up and/or tear down structures that endanger our children and send a message that our area isnt important.

12. We have the food pantry expansion underway; donations are being taken, and food being given away; we also have restarted our "gently used" clothing room, and we will be inheriting the childrens clothing room that was being operated at Cherokee School now that it is being shut. We have added a new computer to our computer center but need three or four more. We will be scheduling an auction of donated items to raise needed funds to continue the building renovation and the park creation. We are also planning to host mission trips from churches coming from Texas and would love to do so with others even from here in the Tulsa area. Summer calendar of events planning will be done soon with our leaders and will be listed in the next email news. At the worship gatherings on Sunday we are discussing this month the book "Change the World" by Michael Slaughter.
http://www.amazon.com/Change-World-Recovering-Message-Mission/dp/1426702973 We combine mission service with conversation worship and common meal. More events on the church side will be planned and announced soon too.

For more go to
www.progressivechurchplanting.blogspot.com, www.missionalprogressives.blogspot.com,

Thanks, blessings

1 comment:

Devouring the Seasons said...

We've been encouraging people to vote for the orchard daily since first hearing about this on facebook via Tulsa Community Garden Association. So glad we found your blog, though, because we did NOT know there would be 5 orchards given away and that Turley only has to make it into the top 5! We'll keep spreading the word!