June 1, 2021
Giving back is just a part of who we are at Ideal Homes & Neighborhoods. Co-Founder and CEO, Vernon McKown, often reiterates the company’s priority to support the communities in which we live and work throughout central Oklahoma. The company and individuals at Ideal have made incredible impacts in our communities over the past 30 years through both large and small projects alike, but the company has been looking for a more intentional way to give back. A few months ago, the management team at Ideal Homes & Neighborhoods decided to find someone to fill the shoes of a community outreach coordinator.
Vernon’s wife, Ronda Chapman McKown, is known by many as a former news reporter for ABC affiliate KOCO-TV, so when he asked her who could do the foot work, she beamed at the chance to lead the company on this mission.
Ronda’s newest title is Outreach Ministry for Ideal Homes & Neighborhoods. It is a title that is near and dear to her heart. She has volunteered her time at her church, local food pantry, and so much more. Her tear-filled eyes shine as she talks about sharing her faith with as many people as she can and supporting others as much as humanly possible. And as a former reporter, she knows all about doing the research to help our community. Ronda began reaching out to fellow Kingdom companies B & H Construction, Interstate Batteries, United Bank, and others, to see how they are leading their community outreach efforts.
She started her journey with dream sessions, speaking to more than 70 Ideal employees asking them what tugged at their hearts and what charities they prioritized. “I want employees to feel good about what we’re doing,” she said. “Letting employees have a say in the philanthropy efforts from Ideal allows their voices to be heard.”
In just four months, Ronda has presented more than two dozen philanthropy projects to the Ideal Homes & Neighborhoods management team. These ideas were all received from prayer requests, dream sessions, and word of mouth. She says the most special blessing she’s been a part of so far is helping one of our trade partners after he lost his wife of more than 30 years to COVID. “It will always be the most special one because it was the first thing I was a part of and impacted someone we know and work with,” said Ronda. “He told me he didn’t need anything, and he was okay, but I went and got paper goods and bar-b-que.”
Ronda is constantly looking for charities and non-profits near every community in which Ideal builds. Currently, she is working with partner Brewer Carpet One to help restore a bathroom for The Mary Abbot Children’s House, a facility for abused children to have a safe environment to share their stories and start their healing process. Additionally, Ideal Homes & Neighborhoods, along with sister company Landmark Fine Homes, teamed up to donate previous model home furniture and items to decorate three homes at Pivot in Oklahoma City for homeless youth. She even helped supply arts and crafts, toys, and new clothing to children at Crossroads Youth & Family Services among many other philanthropic efforts
More than $800K has been set aside for Ideal Homes & Neighborhoods to fulfill the Kingdom Initiatives mission. Ronda says her future goals are to find more ways for employees to volunteer their time for those charities near to their hearts.