Yukon non-profit eyes ‘ONE’ excellence award

Compassionate Hands reaches out to serve more in 2020

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Compassionate Hands Director Joanne Riley

By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer

Amid a global pandemic, a Yukon non-profit ministry saw a dramatic increase in need during 2020.

And now that agency is among three finalists for “ONE” prestigious statewide honor.

“The need is up,” Compassionate Hands Director Joanne Riley said. “That never stopped.”

Compassionate Hands of Yukon is being recognized by the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits, which has given nearly $2 million cash awards to more than 200 Oklahoma nonprofits since its inception in 2008.

The Yukon service ministry was nominated in the “Community” category for a 2021 Oklahoma Nonprofit Excellence (ONE) Award.

“I have no idea who nominated us,” Riley said. “This is a statewide award program with seven categories, and we are so grateful to have been selected as one of three finalists in the ‘Community’ category.

“Because of the virus, we’ve had to postpone all our fund-raisers. Anything we receive helps us in our mission to serve the community.”

The ONE Awards gala, set April 24 in Tulsa, is the only program in Oklahoma honoring demonstrated excellence in nonprofit service.

The program awards cash grants between $5,000 and $10,000 to exceptional non-profits.

“The ONE Award recipients are selected for their excellence in all areas, from impact and service delivery to clients, to reputation, to internal management and efficiencies,” said Phil Lakin Jr., chairman of the ONE Awards Selection Commission.

Compassionate Hands has served Yukon-area residents in temporary crisis since 1994. The organization serves Yukon as a clearing house, networking service, and referral agency to provide services, support and to encourage positive life change.

Compassionate Hands is up against two other finalist organizations in the ONE Awards’ Community category, the Southern Oklahoma Library System in Ardmore and Tulsa Historical Society & Museum in Tulsa.

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INCREASED SERVICE

2020 was an especially busy year at Compassionate Hands, 119 S 6th.

Chalk it up to a certain pandemic that left many residents and businesses facing economic uncertainty.

“We provided financial assistance to 290 households made up for about 700 individuals; we served more people than in 2019,” Riley reported. “We helped 852 seniors and 216 residents with disabilities with transportation, totaling 2,261 trips.

“Our two vans drove over 21,000 miles, even though they weren’t being used for six weeks during the shutdown last year.”

Yukon Compassionate Hands’ Care-A-Van drivers Thomas McCarley (left) and Bud Kuykendall take elderly residents and people with disabilities to medical appointments, physical therapy and some personal errands. The Yukon non-profit service ministry, 119 S 6th, helped higher numbers in 2020 with an increased need due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

Compassionate Hands provides rent assistance, temporary lodging, utility bills, prescriptions, and gasoline cards for clients to go to and from work and medical appointments.

The Yukon nonprofit ministry offers an accessible “Care-A-Van” service that take elderly and non-ambulatory residents and people with physical disabilities to medical appointments, physical therapy and dialysis, the grocery store, library, senior center, and some personal errands.

Compassionate Hands also gives out personal items like diapers, baby wipes, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and personal hygiene products to those who need it.

Call 354-9591 or visit http://www.compassionatehandsyukon.org to learn more.

The Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits is the state’s preeminent organization convening charitable entities from throughout the state for training, consultation, networking, advocacy and recognition.

Comprising more than 730 members from across Oklahoma, OKCNP’ primary mission is to empower nonprofits to achieve excellence in their missions. For more information visit www.OKCNP.org