Giving Back & Giving Thanks
November 22, 2021
At Ideal Homes & Neighborhoods, the mission is more than just building great homes. Giving back and building up the community is just as important.
Ronda Chapman McKown, Outreach Ministry for Ideal Homes & Neighborhoods, set out on a mission this year. Since she started in March 2021, Ideal has helped more than 40 local organizations, facilities, and Ideal families, by meeting their direct needs.
Through her leadership, Ideal Homes & Neighborhoods has already donated thousands of dollars and more than a hundred volunteer hours to help restore local facilities that children in need call home. In May, McKown heard of a need to renovate a bathroom at the Mary Abbott Children’s House, a shelter for abused children to have a safe environment to share their stories and start their healing process. She immediately got to work enlisting the help of Ideal partners and provided funding from Ideal Homes & Neighborhoods to help bring the renovated space to reality.
In September, she teamed Ideal up with the United Way of Norman for a Day of Caring at Crossroads Youth & Family Services where more than 30 Ideal employees volunteered their time to renew living spaces for foster children who call it home. Ideal volunteers grabbed their gear and got to work. It was the biggest transformation project this year while volunteers did everything from painting walls, building bookcases and storage, creating a new playground, and spending a day hanging out with the kiddos. Ideal Homes & Neighborhoods is proud to say that employees donated more than $30,000 to the United Way of Norman. The company donated $20,000 directly to Crossroads Youth and Family Services, and the County Commissioner matched the donation to bring the total to $40,000. The renovation process began in June and should be completed by the first of the year.
Forest Building Materials and Dan Orona with and Foxworth Galbraith Lumber Company have donated paint and supplies along with lumber and trim. Greg Tunison with Lifestyles Lighting Center in Edmond generously gave the center all new lighting. George Hughes with AD Supply Company came to the rescue with a donation of new ceiling tiles. Kelly Moore Paints brightened the space both inside and out with paint and painting supplies. Kent Tippit with Plumbing Solutions helped with all-new bathroom hardware for the children’s four bathrooms. Lowe’s in Norman provided discounts on paint and an incredible playground set in which the children love. New landscaping was provided by Marcum’s Nursery. Steve Pollack with Tops by Cops generously supplied countertops to replace worn desktops in the childrens’ rooms. Scott Ward with Ward Wood is helping to repair broken drawers, cabinets, and more. Last, but certainly not least, Rick Ogel with Brewer Carpet One has been an incredible help with new flooring in the center. Larry Kirkland and his team, Jan Penner Dewbre with JP Designs, and Richard McKown also provided endless help with the project. Besides the many donations of supplies and discounts, these companies and their employees have been invaluable to the project. They have tremendously helped with their knowledge and suggestions for making the shelter a home for the foster children who live there.
Even if a child has a clean home with a roof over their head, they can still be taken into foster care if they do not have their own bed. McKown was crushed to hear this and began working with Pivot, a nonprofit counseling and crisis intervention shelter for troubled youth and families, and local law enforcement to provide more than 36 air mattresses for children without beds to sleep. If an officer is called to check on a home and a child does not have a bed, they can offer a mattress to the family. In addition, Ideal Homes & Neighborhoods and Landmark Fine Homes donated gently used model home furniture to furnish three of Pivot’s tiny homes for homeless teenagers.
Ideal Homes & Neighborhoods recently gave $10,000 to the Saville Center in Stillwater to sponsor a support dog that is a companion to children who have experienced abuse or neglect. The support dog, Maria, even travels to court with children to give them comfort in an often intimidating and scary setting confronting their abusers.
This year, McKown also lead Ideal Homes & Neighborhoods to give to the following organizations:
- Zeta Tau Alpha at Oklahoma State University to help in their effort to serve and promote breast cancer education and awareness.
- Oklahoma Children’s Hospital at OU Medicine received $5,000 for their Dancing for a Miracle fundraising event, plus $1,000 for the Trivia Bowl.
- Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Norman received $5,500 for their golf tournament and movie night.
- $1,500, meals, clothing and toiletries for Sisu Youth Services, a homeless shelter for youth ages 15 to 24, in Oklahoma City. Bridges of Noman
- Cheerleading groups at Del City High School, Norman North High School, and Norman High School.
Ideal Homes & Neighborhoods is also sponsoring Breakfast with Santa at the Virtue Center in Norman providing help and hope for those facing addiction and mental health challenges.
Ideal Homes & Neighborhoods would like to give a special thanks to all our partners, trades, and vendors who have helped us make these services possible this year. We are so grateful to you!