by John Dessauer
BRRX4Veterans Program, Community Service Council
Oklahomans love their holiday seasons perhaps even more than their college football seasons. Holidays, filled with music in department stores and decorations in homes, encourage us to give back to those in need. Food and toy drives, and Salvation Army bell ringers are only a few of the charitable activities in Tulsa during this time. These are wonderful opportunities to give back to those in need…but what about the rest of the year?
When everyone goes back to work after the festivities, is the giving over? It shouldn’t be. As the Outreach Coordinator I see people without homes, veterans and their families without homes, and they need Tulsa’s help more than ever. BRRX4Vets is a Community Service Council program that helps veterans experiencing homelessness secure safe and affordable housing and other essential needs and services – these are year-long needs.
Zero: 2016 Tulsa brings great awareness to programs like BRRX, and to the plight of those affected by homelessness. The mission of Zero: 2016 is the same as the mission of BRRX: end veteran and chronic homelessness. Tulsans are living without shelter in Oklahoma’s most unforgiving season, enduring ice, snow, freezing rain and bitter cold temperatures. Living in these conditions is not only unfathomable, but also perilous. Help is needed—help in the form of a home. BRRX and many other organizations across the region are working to find homes for those in need.
When considering all that Zero: 2016 Tulsa means to our community, I am most grateful for the collaboration the initiative has inspired in Tulsa. I have seen our partner organizations steadily improve communication, transparency, and strengthen relationships in order to better understand that together we can make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring. But we can’t do it alone; we need Tulsa to keep up that holiday generosity all year long.
Donations of clothing, nonperishable items, cars and home essentials are always taken at BRRX. I hope you consider giving to BRRX or another organization or program involved in Zero: 2016 Tulsa. Your donations will mean so much to your fellow Tulsans in need.
BRRX is located at BRRX for Veterans Program, 115 West 3rd street, Suite 600, Tulsa, Ok 74103. Donations are accepted during business hours, Monday- Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.