Spring time is upon us once again and for basketball fans it means just one thing: March Madness! Even if your team has been eliminated many will continue to watch this great collegiate tradition for all the drama and excitement. For the individual players and teams, this is the chance to reap the benefits of the hard work they’ve put it in all year long by being crowned the national champions.
The OBF has also been hard at work all year long, growing into an over twelve million dollar non-profit organization, with revenues close to a million dollars annually. The benefits of which are reaped by individuals who are assisted by state wide organizations for children, the poor, the elderly, and other various non-profits that are supported by grant awards from the Bar Foundation.
For example, the Center for Children and Families (CCFI) in Cleveland County, with the help of OBF grant funding, was able to help a father client and his two minor children ages 10 and 5, who were struggling with court ordered supervised visitations with their mother. The children had not seen their mother in over six months. Attempted visits over the past year resulted in the mother often showing up intoxicated, leading to conflict felt, seen, and heard by both children. The mother was not being held accountable and the family needed a neutral third party to supervise.
During the first few months of supervised visitation in a clinical setting, the CCFI staff observed a high level of discomfort between the children and their mother. In addition the staff also observed the minor son, who is autistic, becoming emotionally de-regulated and the minor daughter having to step up and help parent her brother. Over time, with the support and supervision of the CCFI staff, the initial discomfort faded away as mother and children bonded over games and gym activities, building the foundation of a healthy relationship. The children were comforted by the consistent presence of CCFI staff during the visits. The mother also worked hard with the staff to learn positive play techniques and gained confidence through the program and was able to maintain sobriety during visitation times. Through the services of CCFI, funded by the OBF, and the dedication of their parents, the minor children are now benefiting from a safe, consistent, and loving relationship with their biological mother.
However, there is still more for the OBF to do and improve on. As five-time NBA champion and two-time NBA MVP Tim Duncan once said, “Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best.” The OBF’s success needs to be improved upon in order to maintain our upward growth and ability to provide additional and larger grants to public service organizations affecting our justice system and the people we serve. All Oklahoma lawyers, should consider it their duty to be a Fellow of the Oklahoma Bar Foundation. Remember, “It is only the farmer who faithfully plants seeds in the Spring, who reaps a harvest in the Autumn.” (B.C. Forbes). Please become an OBF Fellow or make a contribution to OBF today to help assist others in need but without means Give Today
Jack L. Brown practices in Tulsa and serves at the OBF President. He can be reached at email@example.com