By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
A distinguished guest from Washington D.C. came to Yukon to see how a nonprofit social service agency is helping meet the community’s needs.
U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, visited Yukon Sharing Ministries, 4 N Sixth, on Thursday, Sept. 3 as he canvassed the state learning about nonprofits and social service groups that serve local communities.
Sen. Lankford met with Yukon Sharing Director Missy King, Yukon Sharing’s board of directors, staff and volunteers to learn about the services the agency provides for Yukon-area residents in need.
Lankford traveled across the state in recent weeks during a rare gap in his schedule when U.S. senators weren’t voting on legislation at the nation’s capital.
This has given the senator the chance to visit with city officials, school superintendents, other local leaders, and social service entities to, as he said, “find out what’s really happening and what the needs are.”
Sen. Lankford said he wanted to visit Yukon Sharing because of the agency’s excellent reputation and what they are doing to help people who need a hand up.
“I thought Yukon Sharing would be a good barometer for what the needs in the community are and how they are being met,” Lankford said. “I wanted to stop by because the nonprofits see firsthand the need issues.”
Yukon Mayor Shelli Selby and District 60 State Rep. Rhonda Baker, R-Yukon, were among local leaders who greeted the senator. Baker serves on Yukon Sharing’s board of directors.
Yukon Sharing provides clothing, food, household goods, and other necessary services to people who meet income guidelines. Recipients must live in the Yukon school district – 73099, 73085 and 73127 zip codes.
“We do everything we can to help as many people as we can,” Director King told Lankford. “Our main focus is Yukon, and that’s where most of our donations come from.
“Yukon is a neat town. It’s not the little town it was when I moved here, but the people in Yukon are very giving and caring. They’ve done everything they could to keep us going where we could help people. We feel blessed to be able to do what we do.”
OPEN TO SERVE
Yukon Sharing has remained open to serve a growing number of clients during the COVID-19 health crisis, Director King told Sen. Lankford.
In August, Yukon Sharing served 62 families and 207 individuals. Some 42% of the recipients were new.
“We’re serving more and more people who have faced layoffs and job loss,” King said.
Sen. Lankford talked about how critical that social service groups like Yukon Sharing are during these challenging times.
“Some folks just default and say the ‘safety net’ in our country is our government,” Lankford said. “But the family is the first safety net. The second are churches and nonprofits. The government is the third safety net.
“There’s no way that government could keep up with all the human need across the country if we didn’t have families engaging and didn’t have churches and nonprofits engaging.”
Lankford, who lives in Deer Creek, called Yukon a “great community” to the applause of Mayor Selby and other community leaders.
“I’m back and forth in the area all the time at different places and events,” said Lankford, who recently preached at Yukon’s Trinity Baptist Church.
Founded in 1987, Yukon Sharing Ministries offers everyone who can benefit a hand up – not a handout.
King – who has been Yukon Sharing’s director since Aug. 1, 2019 – relies on volunteers, who are the lifeblood of the organization.
Board members are: President Becky Stevens, Vice President Pam Shelton, Treasurer Stacey Gaylord, Secretary Kayleigh Ferguson, Jim Poe, Scott Schuermann, D’Lynne McDaniel, Betty Corn, Tammy McKee, Christy Stanley, and Rep. Baker.
Yukon Sharing is open from noon to 4 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays; and from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on the first Saturday each month.
King, as the director, has provided stability over the past 13 months as Yukon Sharing has maintained consistent hours while reaching more people who really need help. Tax-deductible donations are always welcome.
The agency also distributes Christmas baskets for people who need help during the holiday season.
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