When I began my year as your OBF President, certain immediate challenges quickly surfaced. The critical IOLTA income was jeopardized by banks reporting their interest rate paid on lawyer’s trust accounts would be drastically reduced from 2013, even though Federal Fund rates had not changed. The OBF Executive Committee went into action and meetings with our flagship bank were initiated. A better rate was negotiated and that crisis was averted. The OBF theme of “Lawyers Changing Lives” came through loud and clear. The good deeds of charitable contributions, however, are perpetual and your contributions are invaluable. We need your help each year to be able to help Oklahomans in need.
The year of 2014 saw the successful evolutions of the Community Fellow Program. Law firms, IOLTA banks, the Chickasaw Nation Foundation, LexisNexis and several Oklahoma Bar Association Sections all became Community Fellows. Lawyers and layman alike recognized that the one-stop OBF umbrella of charitable giving through tax exempt contributions helps to fulfills their need to give back to the community. The OBF Board of Trustees subsequently approved $457,681 in regular grant awards and court grant awards. The predictable result was that more than 56,450 Oklahoma lives were changed through OBF grant programs and projects, with tens of thousands more affected each year – illustrating that your donations accomplish a great deal.
Finally, 2014 provided the OBF Video Story. This short ten-minute presentation is compelling to see because it vividly shows the OBF at work and actual recipients of law-related services tell how OBF grant dollars have changed their lives – they can never thank the lawyers enough. The daily updated OBF website lists current events and outlines the ease with which you may choose from the OBF Fellows Umbrella of Charitable Giving today. The OBF mission has not changed and the work we do is still desperately needed. With your continued generous support, the OBF funding provides:
- Free legal assistance for poor and elderly Oklahomans
- Safe haven for the abused
- Protection for legal assistance for children
- Public law-related education programs including Oklahoma school children
- Other activities that improve the quality or justice for all Oklahomans
OBA President Renée DeMoss, the OBA and the OBF have rallied together through joint events in relaying the message that the OBF changes lives for the better.
I am reaching out to you today to ask you to help because your charitable gift has the power to transform the lives of those in crucial need of law-related services. The cause is important to lawyers, law firms and Community Fellows. If you are unclear as to your status as a Fellow, wish to upgrade your Fellow status, or simply want to make a gift to the OBF, please call our OBF Office at (405) 416-7070 or by e-mail to the OBF at email@example.com. You can simply check our OBF website at www.okbarfoundation.org to be able to give at any hour of the day or night.
When lawyers give of their time and money, great things will happen! Will you answer my call for help by sending the best December Gift that you possibly can to the OBF today! We cannot succeed without your help. Please remember that we cannot receive if we do not ask.
2014 OBF President Dietmar K. Caudle of Lawton
How You Can Help
- Join the OBF Fellows Program for Individuals
- Become an OBF Community Fellows for Groups and Organizations
- Designate OBF for Cy Pres Awards
- Include OBF in Wills and Estate Planning
- Make OBF Tribute and Memorial Gifts
- Participate in the IOLTA Program
- Make General Charitable Contributions to the Oklahoma Bar Foundation