Project Elf and Getting Creative!

The YMCA of Greater Tulsa has been serving our community since 1909.   Over the past 111 years, we have adapted to meet the ever-changing needs in Tulsa.  That is no different today.  While the world navigates a pandemic which is having rapid and severe impacts on our collective quality of life, health, wellness and safety, the YMCA of Greater Tulsa is making strategic and operational pivots to fight COVID-19.  In addition, we are providing services to our community members who are most impacted and most vulnerable.  Even with our branches temporarily closed, the YMCA’s mission-focused work continues and growing by the day to meet our community’s needs.  Below is an update on what we have done so far.   Thank you for staying with us!”The Families we are serving do not have the supplies they need”

As we navigate the impact of COVID-19, the Y is working to find solutions to critical needs today and helping us all emerge from this pandemic stronger. One of those needs we are helping to address is ensuring that our children have the school supplies they need at home while they are adjusting to their temporary virtual learning space. To assist with this, we have partnered with a local non-profit called Project Elf. Project Elf is a volunteer-based organization that works wonders for Tulsa schoolchildren in need of the basics most of us take for granted, such as clothes, shoes, school supplies, and personal hygiene products. This week the team from Project Elf brought the supplies to the Tandy Family Y so the YMCA staff could bag up the school supplies and prepare them for delivery. The Project Elf Team then headed to the streets to deliver these bags to their doorsteps. The 500 bags included: color markers, index cards, blunt tip scissors, colored pencils, pencil sharpener, journal, ruler, dry erase board, glue stick, stickers, and an activity sheet on suggestions on different ways to use the supplies.

Here is a quote from the Executive Director of Project Elf Terri Hozhabri. “I am very excited about the partnership with Project Elf and the YMCA. Non-profits working together is what it is all about, especially during these times. Our counselors and social workers are grateful to have found this resource. The families we are serving do not have the supplies they need at home to assist them with learning and other activities that can be done at home. This is a beautiful relationship.”

Here is a quote from the co-founder of Project Elf and YMCA volunteer Laurie Tilley. “The Y has always been a great partner to Project Elf, and so it was no surprise when we asked for help assembling home activity kits for students at home the answer was a resounding “yes!”

Project Elf is a small non-profit, but we wanted to do whatever we could to provide a creative outlet for as many children as possible. To date, the Y has safely, and with social distancing, built 500 kits that counselors and social workers are delivering to the doors of students in Tulsa. Our gratitude for the Y, its great team!