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Column: Corporate culture must include volunteerism

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In this episode, Ginnie Graham and Bob Doucette talk about how the midterm election filings ended with some crowded races, fewer than one-third of the 125 legislative offices up for election in November will be contested. Also discussed: Rep. Sean Roberts fought to be known as Sean “The Patriot” Roberts on the ballot for Labor Commissioner. The Oklahoma State Election Board denied the request. The U.S. Supreme Court is unlikely to reverse its McGirt decision. The latest on tribal and state jurisdiction. Citing safety concerns, local officials floated the need for a roughly $5 million extension of the new Tulsa County Family Center for Juvenile Justice and funding for more staffing to solve a problem created by a federal policy change. Remember when Tulsa tried to get Tesla? The latest on Elon Musk, Twitter and free speech Oklahoma ranks No. 8 in the rate of euthanizing dogs and cats in shelters, according to the Best Friends Animal Society. Last year, nearly 90,000 dogs and cats entered Oklahoma's shelters, and about 11,560 were euthanized. Remembering the late Joe Worley, former Tulsa World executive editor and an advocate for open records in Oklahoma. Join us Aug. 2 as we honor the best in area high school sports at the annual All-World Awards banquet, presented by Bill Knight Automotive. Get your tickets here.

Our community has experienced immense challenges over the past two years due to the pandemic. Local nonprofits and charitable organizations were particularly impacted as they faced increased demand for their services while losing in-person volunteers.

As we close out April, which is Global Service Month, it’s the perfect time to acknowledge the impact of Tulsa’s hardworking nonprofits and the importance of community involvement in their efforts.

City Year is a national service nonprofit with a strong history of service and volunteerism focused on creating an environment for students in schools. City Year Tulsa focuses heavily on schools and education with a goal to generate a service-oriented workforce in the Tulsa community.

A critical component of everything City Year does in Tulsa is the human connection. The pandemic has created challenges for everyone, but students were significantly affected by the isolation.

While monetary giving was up in 2021, volunteerism rates continued to trend downward. Many local nonprofits, like City Year, rely on volunteers to assist in delivering critical services to vulnerable communities.

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Bank of America has been a longstanding partner for the local chapter, and the bank remained committed to that partnership throughout the pandemic. It offered virtual alternatives to traditional volunteerism like financial literacy training and mentorship opportunities for City Year corps members.

This empowered them not only to educate Tulsa youth but also become advocates for their own professional growth and financial success. Volunteers are critical to this process.

To help, many companies like Bank of America found unique ways to safely contribute and give back in Tulsa, such as touchless drop off school supplies for Restore Hope and food packaging supplies for Iron Gate.

One way to bolster employee volunteerism is to offer paid weekly time off to give back to the community. Despite the pandemic’s challenges, Bank of America saw success with this despite limited in-person activities, with local bank employees logging over 10,000 volunteer hours in 2021.

Supporting the work of organizations like City Year are not just investments in people, but in our community as a whole. By emphasizing that Tulsans are invested in them, students and corps members believe in themselves, are motivated to achieve their goals and build a future for themselves in Oklahoma.

Service is deeply important as community members renew their commitment to volunteerism through in-person opportunities making an impact in Tulsa. We encourage everyone to support causes they’re passionate about to raise awareness and advocate for community engagement.

Together, we can “Make Better Happen” by connecting our passion with purpose to ensure a brighter future for all.

Bill Lissau is the president of Bank of America Tulsa, and Paul Davis is the executive director of City Year Tulsa.

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