OBF Announces 2021 Grantee Partners

The Oklahoma Bar Foundation (OBF) Board of Trustees approved $731,242 in Grants for 29 nonprofit programs that will provide legal services and education to over 46,500 Oklahomans. The OBF Grants & Awards Committee, who is tasked with reviewing grant applications and interviewing grant applicants, presented funding recommendations to the OBF Board of Trustees for programs that provide services in the following categories: legal services and advocacy for abused and neglected children, civil legal aid for low-income Oklahomans, immigrant legal services, domestic violence prevention services, teen legal educationjuvenile offender programs, diversion programs and other law-related programs.

The following nonprofits will receive program funding from the OBF for fiscal year 2021:

Grantee Program/Services Area of Service
CASA of Canadian County Advocacy for Abused Children Canadian County
CASA of Western Oklahoma Advocacy for Abused Children Beckham, Custer & Washita Counties
CASA of NE Oklahoma Advocacy for Abused Children Ottawa, Rogers and Washington Counties
CASA of Southern Oklahoma Advocacy for Abused Children Carter, Love, Murray Counties
Center for Children & Families Court Ordered Divorce & Co-Parenting Program Cleveland and Oklahoma Counties
Oklahoma Guardian Ad Litem Institute GAL Services for Low-Income Families Statewide
Oklahoma Lawyers for Children Legal Services for Abused Children Oklahoma County
The Care Center Victim Legal Services & Forensic Interviews Statewide
Tulsa Lawyers for Children Legal Services for Abused Children Tulsa County
Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma Civil Legal Services for Low-Income Oklahomans Statewide
Oklahoma City University Law Indian Wills Clinic Statewide
Trinity Legal Clinic of Oklahoma Civil Legal Services for Low-Income Oklahomans Oklahoma City Area
Domestic Violence Intervention Services DVIS Legal Program Tulsa & Creek Counties
Wings of Hope, Family Services Center Survivors Legal Support Logan, Noble & Payne Counties
Catholic Charities of Eastern Oklahoma Immigration Legal Services Eastern Oklahoma Counties
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of OKC Immigration Legal Services Canadian, Cleveland and Oklahoma Counties
The Spero Project The Common – Refugee Legal Services Oklahoma City Metro
University of Tulsa Law School Immigrant Rights Project Statewide
YWCA Tulsa Immigration Legal Services Tulsa Area
Citizens for Juvenile Justice Court Ordered Literacy Program Oklahoma County
Citizens for Juvenile Justice Connect to Redirect Oklahoma County
Teen Court First-Time Juvenile Offender Court Comanche County
Youth Services of Tulsa First-Time Juvenile Offender Court Tulsa & Ottawa Counties
Western Plains Youth & Family Services Juvenile Detention Services Ellis, Harper and Woodward Counties
OBA-YLD Mock Trial High School Mock Trial Program Statewide
YMCA of Greater OKC Youth & Government Program Statewide
Oklahoma Access to Justice Foundation Legal Assistance Resource Center Statewide
1st Step Male Diversion Program Diversion and Mentorship Program Tulsa County
Mental Health Association of Oklahoma Diversion Program on Special Services Docket Tulsa County

 

2020 has been particularly tough for the nonprofit sector as many organizations experienced financial hardship, operational challenges, and a decrease in volunteers while at the same time seeing a major increase in clients needing legal assistance.

“This year, we heard from many of our grantees about how hard it has been to handle a dramatic increase in the need for services in an environment that suppresses fundraising events and personal outreach,” says OBF Grants & Awards Chair Valerie Couch. “They have been heroic in their efforts to persevere, and we need to help them all we can.  I hope all lawyers in Oklahoma will increase their support of the Oklahoma Bar Foundation so that we can provide timely help and funding for the people working in the trenches during this pandemic.”

Each year, the OBF funds Grantee programs providing legal services and aid to low-income populations. Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTA) is the primary source of funding for OBF Grantees, but unfortunately it is not enough to meet the overwhelming need. This year, the OBF received grant requests for over $1.1 Million from 30 Oklahoma nonprofits.  This means that despite awarding over $730,000 in OBF Grantees, close to $400,000 in requests that WILL NOT be met due to lack of funding, and many Oklahomans who desperately need help will not receive it.

The OBF’s mission and priority is to provide as much funding to our Grantees as possible, so they can focus on providing  high quality services for their clients.  To help close some of the funding gap, we have  created some special campaigns and events.

SO — a big THANK YOU to the OBF donors and the OBA Sections who donated to the “OBF Grantee Covid Legal Relief Campaign” and the “Giving Tuesday Now” Campaign.  Together these campaigns raised an additional $30,000 for OBF Grantees. We also want to give a shout out to our Prime Partner Banks who pay higher interest rates on their IOLTA accounts, which translates into more funds for OBF Grantees.

There is still time to support the OBF and advance justice –  visit www.okbarfoundation.org/donate to make a donation!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *