Tag Archives: awareness

National Literacy Action Week! Get involved!

SCALE, the Student Coalition for Action in Literacy Education, is holding National Literacy Action Week (NLAW) from January 30th through February 5th, 2012.

NLAW is a nationwide event where campus literacy programs join together to raise awareness about literacy and create change on their campuses and in their communities.

If your organization would like to participate, follow this link:


for more information. Be sure to have your applications turned in by December 15th!

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Sunday Dinners for the GROW campaign

The GROW Campaign through Oxfam America, publicized by Desmond Tutu, has a neat idea to raise awareness about the food imbalance in our world.

It’s called the Sunday Dinner: http://goo.gl/68xHY

This World Food Day, October 16th, “host a Sunday Dinner that fosters a conversation about where your food comes from, who cultivates it, and how we can make the food system more just and sustainable.”

Oxfam will send you all the materials you need, you just need to bring the dinner guests! For more information, follow the link above or contact Sophie Fuchs at sfuchs@oxfamamerica.org or (617) 517-9447

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CASA Announces New Fundraising Effort: Searching for the Stars!

If you loved the Gong Show, if you miss Star Search or you’re a fan of America’s Got Talent then you’ll LOVE CASA’s Searching for the Stars!  Payne County CASA is searching for stars to help in its mission to advocate for abused and neglected children!  CASA is searching for groups and individuals who are interested in showcasing their talent for a good cause.  CASA is now accepting audition entries for the first phase of its Searching for the Stars fundraiser.  The talent auditions will be held on July 30, 2011 at
6 pm at the Stillwater Community Center.  Auditions are open to anyone who would like to perform and have the chance to move forward in the fundraising event.  The entry fee is $25 and must be included with the entry form which will be available on Payne County CASA Association’s Facebook page and at
www.casaforkids.com or can be emailed upon request by contacting info@casaforkids.com.  The deadline for entries is July 15, 2011 by 5 pm.  The audition performances will be scored by a panel of three judges based on stage appearance and personality, originality and creativity, audience response, delivery and overall performance. 
The entry form can be found at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/56419405.
Entries will also be accepted via YouTube until July 15, 2011 by 5 pm.  All performances both live and video, must be two minutes or less.  For YouTube submissions simply email a link to your YouTube entry to info@casaforkids.com.  Your video submission will not be considered until your entry form and fee are received in the CASA office.  All YouTube submissions will go through a pre qualifying panel made up of Payne County CASA Fundraising Committee members.  The chosen YouTube entries will be shown at the live auditions on July 30th to the panel of three judges and the audience and given the same opportunity for a chance to advance as one of the six finalists.
The top six finalists and three alternates will be announced at the end of the auditions.  The six finalists will then perform at the 12th Annual Hearts Go Out for Children Gala Fundraiser on February 4, 2012 at 6 pm at the Payne County Expo in front of 300-350 guests.  Finalists will collect pledges on their behalf as a portion of their scores.  The six finalists will have three months to prepare for their final performances and their individual pledge campaigns which will kick off on November 16, 2011.  The overall winner of CASA’s Searching for the Stars will be determined by adding 50% of the finalist’s points determined by funds raised with 50% of the scores given by the panel of three judges.  The six finalists will compete for CASA’s Searching for the Stars trophy and prize package sponsored by local businesses. 
The auditions on July 30th will be open to the public, first come first serve, for the first 700 guests.  The auditions are general admission.  The cost is $5 for adults.  Children under 12 are free.
For more information please review CASA’s Searching for the Stars Entry Form or call 405-624-2242 or email info@casaforkids.com.  Entry forms will be accepted via email, fax at 405-624-2250, by mail or in person at 315 W 6th, Ste 205, Stillwater, OK  74074.  Payne County CASA is a 501 (c) 3 not for profit agency and all pledges/donations are tax deductible.  Payne County CASA is a United Way agency. 

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Filed under Community Partner, How cool is that?!, Stillwater, Volunteer Opportunities

Spread the Word on National Service Disaster Response

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Dear Service Leader,

As communities across the U.S. recover from one of the deadliest disaster seasons on record – and brace for more damage from floods, forest fires, and hurricanes – AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers are on the frontlines providing critical support to families and communities in need.
Arriving quickly and staying for the long haul, hundreds of specially trained national service participants are responding to disasters in multiple states, providing skilled manpower and managing tens of thousands of volunteers.
Working in close partnership with FEMA, emergency officials, and faith-based and community groups, national service members are removing debris, sandbagging , running call centers, coordinating donations, assessing needs, providing food and shelter, supporting evacuation efforts, and managing large scale volunteer efforts.
Now you can spread the word about the important disaster response work that national service is doing in five easy steps:
1.       Join us on Facebook by “liking” http://www.facebook.com/serve and http://www.facebook.com/nationalservice
2.       Follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/servedotgov  
3.       Tweet about national service and disaster relief and recovery by using the #CountOnUs hashtag
4.       Retweet @Servedotgov messages 
5.       Share the Count On Us: Joplin video (http://youtu.be/RZApuJHy3GM) on your Facebook wall, blog, and via Twitter.
Through these easy steps, you can help tell the story about the key role of national service in disaster recovery.  
Office of External Affairs

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July is Make a Difference In a Child’s Life

(Stillwater, OK)  This month and throughout the year, Payne County Youth Services, Inc. encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making Payne County a better and safer place for children, youth and families.  By ensuring that youth have supportive and caring people they can turn to, we can improve their quality of life.

Young people perform better in all areas of their lives when they have a supportive relationship with a caring adult. For at-risk youth, volunteer mentors can be an especially positive influence that helps them make good decisions, believe in their own strengths, and excel in school. Safe Place agencies and sites can connect youth to positive supportive caring adults and help influence youth when they are in crisis and need someone to talk to.  Safe Place agencies can also connect youth to long term mentoring in their community which research has shown that youth with mentors are less likely to engage in at risk behaviors. (Big Brother’s Big Sisters)

Communities across the country search for ways to keep youth safe and many have established Safe Place as a community collaboration making help readily available.  Safe Place designates businesses, community buildings and mobile units as Safe Place sites that prominently display the Safe Place logo.  Any youth in crisis can walk in and a trained representative will come to meet with them and together they will begin to determine what kind of help is needed.  Safe Place connects children and their families with the supportive resources they need.  In Payne County, Safe Place is operated by Payne County Youth Services, Inc.

The designated Safe Place sites of Payne County include:

Stillwater Safe Place Sites:

  • All On-Cue locations, Anderson’s Taekwondo, Carl’s Jr., Cimarron Medical Services, Consumer’s Grocery, CREC (Central Rural Electric Co-op), Family Resource Center –OSU, Food Pyramid, IHOP,Holiday Inn and Suites, Lincoln Academy, OSU Parking and Transit Services, Payne County Youth Services, Payne County Youth Shelter, Stillwater Designs, Inc., Stillwater Fire Departments, Stillwater Home Health, Stillwater Medical Center, Stillwater Middle School, Stillwater Junior High, Stillwater High School, Stillwater Police Department, Stillwater Public Library, Strode Funeral Home, Texas Roadhouse,Total Health, Walgreens and the YMCA;

Perkins Safe Place Sites:

  • Perkins Junior High, Perkins High School, Perkins Library, On-Cue locations, Christian Church of Perkins, Perkins Drug

Cushing Safe Place Sites:

  • Cushing Middle School, Cushing High School, Cushing Fire Department, Cushing Youth Center, Escott’s Foods

Yale Safe Place Sites:

  • Yale Library, Yale Public Schools, Yale Maveric Mini Mart;

Glencoe Safe Place Sites:

  • Glencoe Maveric Mini Mart, Glencoe High School;

Ripley Safe Place Sites:

  • Ripley Maveric Mini Mart

The Safe Place sites display the Safe Place sign and employees are trained and prepared to assist any youth needing help. In Payne County, an estimated 2 to 4 youth receive help from the Safe Place program each month.

This national initiative operates in 40 states that serve over 1528 communities across the country.  Safe Place has helped over 265,000 young people who have gone to a Safe Place and asked for help or contacted the youth serving agency after they learned about the program at school.  For additional information, contact Angie Freeny, Safe Place Coordinator at Payne County Youth Services at (405) 377-3380.

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Relay for Life Needs Volunteers (Payne County)

Payne Co. Relay for Life needs 10-15 dependable volunteers August 19, 2011 to help set up the event 12 noon – 5 or 6 p.m.  We need your name and hours you can serve. Relay contact is Joe Toth with Stillwater Newspress, 372-5000, x286.
If interested call Joyce Montgomery at 405.744.5145 at the Service Learning Volunteer Center to register as a volunteer for the event. 

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Sudan: What’s next for Abyei?

Sudan (orthographic projection)

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*This blog was written by Noah Gottschalk, Senior policy advisor for humanitarian response at Oxfam America.*

As humanitarian organizations and the UN strive to meet the immediate needs of displaced people, Oxfam is calling on the UN Security Council to ensure that the new peacekeeping mission in Sudan makes protecting civilians from violence its top priority.

Tensions are running high in Sudan, where an upsurge in violence in the border region of Abyei has displaced tens of thousands of people and raised fears of a return to all-out war.

With just over six weeks to go before South Sudan becomes the world’s newest country, the world’s focus has largely been on the incredible accomplishments of the largely peaceful referendum held last January to determine the future of Sudan. The results of that vote, which was a key provision of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended more than two decades of conflict, were overwhelmingly for secession, and southerners have been readying themselves for what they had hoped would be a peaceful independence day.

Yet with the violence in Abyei – an area roughly the size of Connecticut that was one of the worst-affected areas during the war and has long been seen as a key flashpoint of conflict –the security situation is on a knife-edge. The conflict in Abyei comes at a time when southern Sudan is facing its most violent year since the end of the civil war in 2005. Not including these recent events, over 1,400 people have been killed in southern Sudan so far this year – already more than in the whole of 2010 – and at least 117,000 have fled their homes, as violence has dramatically increased in recent months.

The Sudan referendum happened peacefully, but violence has broken out in the border region of Abyei. Photo by Alun McDonald/Oxfam The Sudan referendum happened peacefully, but violence has broken out in the border region of Abyei. Photo by Alun McDonald/Oxfam

Abyei itself has been the site of conflict several times since the signing of the CPA. In May 2008, more than 50,000 people were displaced from Abyei, and much of the town was destroyed by fighting and subsequent looting. Just over two months ago, in March of this year, more than 150 people were killed and at least 25,000 people fled in fear.

Southern Sudan is already one of the poorest and least-developed regions in the world. Less than half the population has access to clean water and maternal mortality rates are among the worst in the world. There are barely any tarmac roads in the entire region, an area roughly the size of Texas, and during heavy rains many areas are cut off for months at a time, making the delivery of humanitarian aid almost impossible. Some 97% of women cannot read or write (overall illiteracy is about 80 percent of adults) and one in seven children die before their fifth birthday. Since the peace treaty was signed, the South has experienced violence, flooding, and drought, yet its people have made some remarkable strides with the help of the US and other international donors. Oxfam has worked in the south for 27 years, providing water and sanitation, responding to humanitarian emergencies, and supporting livelihoods.

Yet development gains can all too easily be wiped out by conflict, and so Oxfam is calling on the UN Security Council, which is currently reviewing the mandate of the peacekeeping operation, the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), to ensure the new mission makes protecting civilians from violence its top priority. This would mean having a mandate under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.

In the past, the UN peacekeeping mission has struggled and at times failed to protect people in southern Sudan from violence, but the Security Council now has a chance to put that right. Oxfam is calling for the new peacekeeping mission, which is planned to take up its mandate after independence, to deploy more troops to the most volatile “hotspot” areas, and ensure that they have the right training and equipment to be able to deter outbreaks of violence, and to respond rapidly as incidents occur. Peacekeepers should be able to carry out more long-range patrols and spend more time consulting with at-risk communities. Better monitoring by civilian staff of human rights abuses and potential areas of conflict is also needed.

In response to the latest outbreak of violence, humanitarian organizations and the United Nations are working to support the basic needs of the displaced people, many of whom fled with little to nothing. But the start of the rainy season could make efforts by humanitarian agencies to reach the displaced increasingly difficult.

In addition to meeting the needs of those affected by the violence, the international community must increase its efforts to prevent the situation on the ground from worsening. UNMIS does not have the capacity to physically intervene between the two parties, but it does have a mandate to protect civilians under imminent threat of violence.

Stay connected with us on Twitter and Facebook to hear the latest news and learn about ways you can help.

To support Oxfam’s response, click here to donate to the Sudan Crisis Relief and Rehabilitation Fund.


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