I have worked for OU Outreach for four years. As I have gotten to know more of my fellow employees, I have learned that everyone in the Outreach family is kind, generous, and supportive. But this year, when it came to helping others in need, especially our own, the employees of this organization know no bounds.
I am an Outreach Quality of Life committee member and was surprised to see the overwhelming number of requests for school supply assistance this year, prompting the need for more than the average fundraiser. While a bake sale was already in the works, the ice cream float sale was added to the event at the suggestion of Dr. Pappas. Someone even remembered there was a crocheted OU blanket in storage that could be raffled. The seriousness of the need was evident…and the outpouring of support was even sweeter than anyone could’ve hoped for.
I watched in awe the morning of the bake sale as more than 20 Outreach employees donated treats and goodies for the bake sale, some providing several different items. The Custard Factory, owned by Outreach employee Rusty Rasmussen, provided the ice cream for the floats. And it’s not every day that Dr. Pappas and the AVPs roll up their sleeves to become food servers, but when it is being done for a good cause, I am happy to say they did it willingly and with warm smiles. (And wearing OU aprons, of course!)
The generosity of Outreach employees was overwhelming. Monetary donations poured in from all departments, some of which held their own fundraisers, including a CPM nacho lunch on OU student move-in day. Employees paid more than the asking price for the goodies they purchased, many people refusing the change they were owed. Several people gave money without taking anything in return, not even a raffle ticket for the blanket.
I watched as the donations added up and couldn’t believe the results. I am happy to share with you that the money raised was enough to cover 100 percent of the school supply needs for 31 children from 13 families within Outreach, and even gave the QOL committee a cushion going into the holiday season. I was completely blown away by the response to our need for funds this year. Every person who provided goodies, bought treats, purchased raffle tickets, donated cash, or even came down to help run the events did so out of the goodness of their hearts and their desire to help others.
I am proud to say that I work for an organization that is so eager and willing to help others. To say it simply, the caring nature of Outreach employees warms my heart and reminds me that we are truly part of something wonderful and sweet.