Yukon’s Compassionate Hands … it is the ‘ONE’

Yukon Compassionate Hands’ Director Joanne Riley accepts a 2021 Oklahoma Nonprofit Excellence (ONE) Award during an April 23rd banquet in Tulsa. Compassionate Hands, which helps Yukon-area residents facing temporary crisis, earned a $7,500 prize to support its mission. (Photo provided)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

A Yukon nonprofit ministry that helps struggling people in temporary crisis has won ONE huge award.

Compassionate Hands of Yukon was named winner in the “Community” category for a 2021 Oklahoma Nonprofit Excellence (ONE) Award.

“This is such an incredible honor,” said Compassionate Hands Director Joanne Riley, who attended an April 23rd awards ceremony.

“There were more than 80 nominations submitted in seven categories, so it’s pretty amazing to be recognized like this.”

Under the guidance of the Yukon Ministerial Alliance, Compassionate Hands has served Yukon since 1994.

The ONE Awards program honors outstanding nonprofits across Oklahoma for the difference they make daily in the lives of Oklahomans.

ONE Award recipients were 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.

As a ONE Award recipient, Compassionate Hands has earned a $7,500 prize sponsored by the H.A. and Mary K. Chapman Charitable Foundations.

“We will use a portion of the money to support our Care-A-Van program,” Riley explained.
Compassionate Hands’ accessible van service takes 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.

“We’ll also use part of the $7,500 to continue helping people who are struggling to pay their rent, utilities and medications,” Riley added.

Besides helping residents facing eviction and utility cutoffs, Compassionate Hands helps pay for gas and medicine while providing personal hygiene products and diapers for people in need.


The ONE Awards gala, April 23 at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, is the only event in Oklahoma honoring demonstrated excellence in nonprofit services.

Finalists and winners in seven awards categories earned grants between $5,000 and $10,000.

Out of more than 19,000 nonprofits statewide, the ONE Awards Selection Commission chose 21 organizations as finalists who were recognized at the Friday night banquet.

Yukon’s Compassionate Hands was among this select group of finalists and Riley was pleased to accept the award during the festivities.

“It was a very nice evening,” she said. “We truly appreciate those who nominated and selected us for this award.”

Other finalists in the Community category the Southern Oklahoma Library System in Ardmore and the Tulsa Historical Society & Museum in Tulsa.

Award categories were: Arts and humanities, community, education, health services, self-sufficiency, transformation, and youth.

The overall winner of the ONE Awards’ program was the OSU Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa, which earned a $10,000 grand prize.

The Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits – with more than 730 members – has worked for 40 years to support nonprofit organizations in promoting increased quality of life for citizens and communities across the state. Its mission is “empowering nonprofits to achieve excellence in their missions.”



Compassionate Hands helped 290 households during 2020, providing financial assistance totaling $48,815.

Some 302 of the 699 people served were under age 18.

For the year, Compassionate Hands helped 125 people pay rent, 123 pay utilities and 42 others with medications and gasoline.

The Care-A-Van service kept rolling in 2020, taking 852 of Yukon’s seniors and 316 residents with disabilities to medical appointments and personal errands.

Even with the COVID-19 shutdown, the new accessible vans totaled 2,261 trips and 21,046 miles driven.

While most of Compassionate Hands’ regular fund-raisers were canceled due to the virus, the nonprofit received support from various sources:
* Power of 100 Canadian County grant – $12,765
* Amazon Smiles charity list – $3,000+ value
* Contributions from churches – $63,000
* Contributions from individuals – $26,231
* Contributions from businesses – $7,585
* Spring card party benefit – $3,100
* Route 66 Cruise-In for a Cause – $610

Several other large grants helped Compassionate Hands meet the community’s needs in 2020:

Yukon Community Support Foundation ($12,000), Oklahoma City Community Foundation ($7,500), Canadian County United Way ($7,500), City of Yukon ($6,000), Jasco Giving Hope ($5,000), Weokie Credit Union ($2,250), and Shelter Foundation ($2,000).

Compassionate Hands is a United Way of Canadian County partner agency.

Learn more by calling (405) 354-9591 or visiting www.compassionatehandsyukon.org

Yukon Compassionate Hands’ Director Joanne Riley, along with volunteers, accepts a large gift from representatives of Life Church-Yukon to support the Yukon helping ministry. (Photo provided)