Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Kendra Walker recognized as Unsung Hero at WOFCC banquet

Two ladies from Burns Flat, Oklahoma were recognized Tuesday evening, 15 November 2016 as Unsung Heroes.   One of them was Kendra Walker.

Kendra Walker (left) after the WOFCC Banquet

 An Unsung Hero, as the title suggests, is someone who day in and day out do the things than need to be done to make a cohesive, safe, and viable community out of whatever their surroundings may be.  These may be police, service men and women, emergency workers, or the person who climbs the power poles in the ice storm to get the power back on.

These people do what they do not for recognition or accolades, but because of a unique call to service that has come alive in them.  The Western Oklahoma Family Care Center recognized Kendra Walker at its fundraiser banquet last night in accordance with the following citation.

Kendra is the mother of 4, a full-time student at SWOSU, Vacation Bible School Coordinator, and Scout Leader for Pack 310 of the Cub Scouts.  She also got the pack established from the ground up several years ago.  She has been kitchen coordinator for Wednesday night services, choir leader, and drama team member.  When there is a funeral, she is always ready to put together a dinner for the family and friends of the deceased.  These things she does without accolades, medals, or monetary incentive.  She is the epitome of the unsung hero.

Kendra has also been crucial to the overwhelming success of the Backpack Ministry.  She is not only a leader, but a dedicated shopper who has a keen eye for bargains on school supplies in the off season stretching donations for this ministry to the point of a modern-day miracle.  She also has the mettle to shop for school supplies for more than 100 children in the melee that is the back to school rush.


Kendra is an unsung hero and truly deserving of this recognition.

Laci Stegall recognized as Unsung Hero at WOFCC banquet

Two ladies from Burns Flat, Oklahoma were recognized Tuesday evening, 15 November 2016 as Unsung Heroes.   One of them was Laci Stegall.

Laci Stegall (right) following the Unsung Heroes Banquet

 An Unsung Hero, as the title suggests, is someone who day in and day out do the things than need to be done to make a cohesive, safe, and viable community out of whatever their surroundings may be.  These may be police, service men and women, emergency workers, or the person who climbs the power poles in the ice storm to get the power back on.

These people do what they do not for recognition or accolades, but because of a unique call to service that has come alive in them.  The Western Oklahoma Family Care Center recognized Laci Stegall at its fundraiser banquet last night in accordance with the following citation.

Laci is the mother of 2, finishing her student teaching next month, Vacation Bible School Coordinator, youth leader with her husband Garrett for the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Burns Flat, church camp counselor, and key member of the newly formed Parks and Recreation Committee for the Burns Flat community.  She is also found working the church kitchen, singing in the choir, and taking her turn in the nursery or attending to a special needs child.  She is also frequently engaged assisting her husband in many ways as he coaches various youth sports in the community.  These things she does without accolades, medals, or monetary incentive.  She is the epitome of the unsung hero.

Of all the things that she pours herself into, her role on the Parks and Recreation Committee for the town has resulted in revitalized baseball fields, a new skate park, a color run, and most recently a town birthday celebration that truly promoted a sense of community more than anything the town has done in 2 decades.


Laci is an unsung hero and truly deserving of this recognition.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Scouts and Students Kick off Fall Food Drives

Saturday, 12 November 2016.  Gathering at 9:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning may be a challenge for some but not for all.  Over two dozen students gathered with a few adults at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Burns Flat to go out into the community to collect food to begin the fall food drives.  This event was sponsored by Scout Troop 310 but truly was a community event because of the student involvement.


In less than two hours, food was collected, checked for expiration dates, and sorted by type.  Food drives at Will Rogers Elementary and the BFDC High School typically add to this so that the needs of those who might otherwise go without are met.  Participation of the students not only made the tasks of the morning go quickly, it is also training in service and helps to promote compassion in the generations to come.

Much more food is needed, so please support the school food drives or bring your donations in person to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Burns Flat.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

What would you do?

What would you do if you were in extreme pain from an abscessed tooth?  You and I would go to the dentist, right?

What if you had no insurance and couldn’t afford to go?  Most of us that have faced extreme pain in any fashion just can’t imagine what it would be like if we just had to tough it out. 




Twice in my life, I have performed my own dental surgery.  No, I was not bored and looking for something off the wall to do.  I was in places where there was no dentist and I couldn’t just leave and go back to civilization and find one.  I did have the luxury of having antibiotics flown in to me so as to fight the original infection and any infection caused by my self-mutilation.  Yes, this was damage that I had done to myself in the process of relieving that extreme pain brought on by an abscessed tooth.

My point is not that I secretly desired to be a dentist.  I didn’t and I don’t and on top of that I wasn’t very good at it.  It is that I would have rather perform very clumsy surgery on myself with a heated Swiss Army Knife than endure any more of the pain that was throbbing in my body.

Would I do the same thing now in the middle of the civilized world if I had no insurance or money?  It is not a crazy question, but it is insane that someone might have to ask that question in our modern world.  What do you do when you can’t afford to get medical or dental treatment?  What do you do when the pain is so great, you are ready to become your own surgeon?

I hope that nobody must ask that question in these parts because there is an answer.  Well, there is an answer as long as those of us who are blessed remain generous.  We have the means and desire and knowhow to provide medical and dental treatment to those who don’t have insurance or money, but we need money to continue operations.  And so we come to the heart of the matter.

The time for the Western Oklahoma Family Care Center Fundraising Banquet is approaching fast.  It will be on Tuesday, 15 November 2016 at the Elk City Civic Center.  The silent auction begins at 6:00 p.m. and the program and meal commence shortly thereafter.  This year’s theme is Unsung Heroes.

What’s the big deal about the Western Oklahoma Family Care Center?

This is a place where people who can barely keep their heads above water go for help.  They may have a minimum wage job and generally get by in life, but one week of missing work due to an accident or the flu or four kids out of school with the flu and suddenly the electric bill is past due.  The Family Care Center has rescued many a family that were trying hard to make it in life but just needed a little boost when the cutoff notice arrived a week before the next paycheck.

Have you ever had an abscessed tooth?  That’s normally not something that you tough out and hope it goes away, but some people don’t have the money or insurance needed to get it fixed.  Many have found relief at the Hope Clinic.  Others come for other reasons but the common denominator is that they can’t afford to go anywhere else.  Whether you like the Affordable Care Act or hate it with a passion; there is still a large part of our community that has no health insurance and can’t afford to get it.  That does not mean they cannot get care.  Over the past few years, the two clinics that are a part of the WOFCC have provided the equivalent of more than 1 million dollars’ worth of services to patients at no cost to them.

The clinic pharmacy has also provided medication to people at no charge.  Some people may be able to afford a $4 copay for a prescription at their local pharmacy but many cannot afford even that and would go without were it not for the WOFCC pharmacy.

Stranded travelers, fire victims, people on the verge of homelessness, and so many more who have just hit a rough spot in their lives have found help at the WOFCC.  Please note that this is a hand up and not a hand out organization.  The WOFCC is a faith based non-profit organization and that means making every encounter with the clientele count.  Workers practice mercy and do it cheerfully but do speak the truth in love.  More than money, so many of our clientele need lifestyle changes, the discipline to budget, and a family of faith to call home.


The WOFCC does its best to guide, mentor, counsel, and even challenge those served to know a better way of life.  Many of the people that are helped are just focused on the short-term issue but those who serve on the board, the few employees in the organization, and the volunteers are focused on helping people for the long haul as well.  All who are called to serve have found that the monetary help given, the medical services provided, and everything else that happens during a day of service just come down to loving our neighbor.  Those are familiar words in these parts.

What’s the big deal?  What’s not a big deal?  This is where the rubber meets the road in loving our neighbor in Beckham, Custer, Roger Mills, and Washita Counties.  WOFCC services rely on donations.  The November Fundraiser is critical to continued operations.  Some will donate thousands of dollars, some a few hundred, and others will buy a ticket to the banquet.  All donations help.
You may think that times are tough and this is not the right time to make a donation.  Realize that for many, times are not tough—they are desperate.  Without the WOFCC, many would lose hope.  Even a donation of $25 or $100 helps the clinics serve just a few more patients or maybe keeps the power on for a family with a house full of children.



If you live in Washita County and need a ticket or would like to donate, please contact Reverend Thomas Spence at (580) 562-4706.  If you live in the other three counties that are served, please contact the Western Oklahoma Family Care Center at (580) 225-5500.

Western Oklahoma Family Care Center
Unsung Heroes
Fundraiser Banquet
Tuesday, 15 November 2016
Elk City Civic Center
6:00 p.m.
Tickets $30

Advance Purchase $25

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Do you know an Unsung Hero?

They don’t’ get recognized on television because they stand or don’t stand for the National Anthem.  They won’t get an Oscar, Tony, or even a Golden Globe this year.  They are not famous but you know who they are.


Who?  The Unsung Heroes of our community, that’s who.  These are the men and women who serve as police, in emergency services, or in the armed forces of the United States.  They are also the foster parents who take on one more child that nobody else wants.  They are the Sunday school teachers and Scout leaders that go the extra mile.  They are the person that you see at almost every volunteer event, often the first there and the last to leave as well as the hardest worker. 


 Occasionally, people thank them for their service.  These people don’t do what they do for the recognition or the thank you; but every once in a while; these folks should be recognized.  That is exactly what is happening at the Unsung Heroes WOFCC Fundraiser dinner on 15 November 2016.
This is a fundraiser for the Western Oklahoma Family Care Center but it is also an optimal venue for recognizing many unsung heroes in Beckham, Custer, Roger Mills, and Washita Counties. 


How does someone get recognized as an unsung hero?  It is as simple as a $100 donation to the WOFCC with a short (1 paragraph) description of why this person is worthy of recognition at this time.  That $100 donation provides a ticket for the unsung hero and spouse and two tickets for the donor.  Those recognized do not need to prepare a speech or rent a tuxedo.  Some may not even be able to attend because of what they do, but the account of their service will be read during the banquet.  You may submit a deployed serviceman or service woman as well.  They may be on the other side of the world, but they will be recognized here.



Realize that this is a fundraiser for a very good cause—the Western Oklahoma Family Care Center. That is why each unsung hero submission needs to be accompanied by a $100 or more donation.  If that seems like a large amount for your finances, consider getting a group together to sponsor an unsung hero.

If you live in Washita County and would like to sponsor an unsung hero, please contact Reverend Thomas Spence at (580) 562-4706.  If you would like to sponsor an unsung hero from elsewhere in the state, please contact the Western Oklahoma Family Care Center at (580) 225-5500.



And for those who want to do more...





Fundraiser Banquet only a few days away

There are only 10 more days remaining!
Until what?  The election?  No.
Veterans Day?  No.

The time for the Western Oklahoma Family Care Center Fundraising Banquet is approaching fast.  It will be on Tuesday, 15 November 2016 at the Elk City Civic Center.  The silent auction begins at 6:00 p.m. and the program and meal commence shortly thereafter.  This year’s theme is Unsung Heroes.

What’s the big deal about the Western Oklahoma Family Care Center?

This is a place where people who can barely keep their heads above water go for help.  They may have a minimum wage job and generally get by in life, but one week of missing work due to an accident or the flu or four kids out of school with the flu and suddenly the electric bill is past due.  The Family Care Center has rescued many a family that were trying hard to make it in life but just needed a little boost when the cutoff notice arrived a week before the next paycheck.

Have you ever had an abscessed tooth?  That’s normally not something that you tough out and hope it goes away, but some people don’t have the money or insurance needed to get it fixed.  Many have found relief at the Hope Clinic.  Others come for other reasons but the common denominator is that they can’t afford to go anywhere else.  Whether you like the Affordable Care Act or hate it with a passion; there is still a large part of our community that has no health insurance and can’t afford to get it.  That does not mean they cannot get care.  Over the past few years, the two clinics that are a part of the WOFCC have provided the equivalent of more than 1 million dollars’ worth of services to patients at no cost to them. 

The clinic pharmacy has also provided medication to people at no charge.  Some people may be able to afford a $4 copay for a prescription at their local pharmacy but many cannot afford even that and would go without were it not for the WOFCC pharmacy.

Stranded travelers, fire victims, people on the verge of homelessness, and so many more who have just hit a rough spot in their lives have found help at the WOFCC.  Please note that this is a hand up and not a hand out organization.  The WOFCC is a faith based non-profit organization and that means making every encounter with the clientele count.  Workers practice mercy and do it cheerfully but do speak the truth in love.  More than money, so many of our clientele need lifestyle changes, the discipline to budget, and a family of faith to call home.

The WOFCC does its best to guide, mentor, counsel, and even challenge those served to know a better way of life.  Many of the people that are helped are just focused on the short-term issue but those who serve on the board, the few employees in the organization, and the volunteers are focused on helping people for the long haul as well.  All who are called to serve have found that the monetary help given, the medical services provided, and everything else that happens during a day of service just come down to loving our neighbor.  Those are familiar words in these parts.

What’s the big deal?  What’s not a big deal?  This is where the rubber meets the road in loving our neighbor in Beckham, Custer, Roger Mills, and Washita Counties.  WOFCC services rely on donations.  The November Fundraiser is critical to continued operations.  Some will donate thousands of dollars, some a few hundred, and others will buy a ticket to the banquet.  All donations help.

You may think that times are tough and this is not the right time to make a donation.  Realize that for many, times are not tough—they are desperate.  Without the WOFCC, many would lose hope.  Even a donation of $25 or $100 helps the clinics serve just a few more patients or maybe keeps the power on for a family with a house full of children.

If you live in Washita County and need a ticket or would like to donate, please contact Reverend Thomas Spence at (580) 562-4706.  If you live in the other three counties that are served, please contact the Western Oklahoma Family Care Center at (580) 225-5500.

Western Oklahoma Family Care Center
Unsung Heroes
Fundraiser Banquet
Tuesday, 15 November 2016
Elk City Civic Center
6:00 p.m.
Tickets $30
Advance Purchase $25



And for those who are called to do more...





Saturday, October 22, 2016

God bless Burns Flat and western Oklahoma

I was setting up my table for the Western Oklahoma Family Care Center today at the Burns Flat Birthday Bash.  It is a wonderful thing that some of the younger leaders in our community have put together in grand fashion for 2 years now. They are turning the tide in community involvement.

It was time for the official kick off to the event so I moved to where the microphone and stage and high school band were to see what would take place.  To my delight, the event kicked off with the band playing the National Anthem.  Everyone stood, caps were removed, and hands moved to cover hearts as the music started.



Near the front was an older lady (meaning older than me) who was a bit on the frail side.  She was seated on the curb and nobody would have given her grief for not standing in her condition, but she would have none of it.  It took her until what so proudly we hailed to get upright and a beat or two longer to get her hand over her heart, but she would not stop until she was facing our National Ensign and rending proper respect.

It is good to live in western Oklahoma where God is welcome and Old Glory still brings men, women, and children to their feet.

So many have forgotten that God is to be first in all things that that we have no rights that we have earned.  Our rights that are so often taken for granted and often abused were given to us by each generation that answered the call to protect and defend this great nation against all enemies. 

Every week I deal with people whose lives are upside down.  Every once in a while, it is good to see that we get something just right.


God bless western Oklahoma!