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Cherokee Nation donates $75,000 to backpack programs

05/26/2017

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(L to R) Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilors Dick Lay, Curtis Snell and Jack Baker; Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr.; Tribal Councilors Janees Taylor and Shawn Crittenden; Tribal Council Deputy Speaker Victoria Vazquez; Tribal Council Speaker Joe Byrd; and Tribal Councilors Buel Anglen, Harley Buzzard, Keith Austin and Wanda Hatfield.

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation recently donated $75,200 to 20 area organizations in northeastern Oklahoma who participate in backpack programs that provide students with everything from school supplies to nutritious weekend snacks.

Members of the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council distributed the checks to the 20 churches, schools and other organizations in Adair, Cherokee, Craig, Delaware, Mayes, Muskogee, Nowata, Rogers, Sequoyah and Washington counties.

Currently, the programs partnering with the tribe serve 2,458 students, with 57 percent being Native.

“These community organizations provide an invaluable service to our local communities,” said Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. “The Cherokee Nation takes great pride in identifying good community partners and helping these quality organizations make a great impact within their community. I want to commend these organizations for their service and the Tribal Council for meeting this need in the communities through allocation of tribal dollars.”

The tribe donated the funds from the Cherokee Nation’s donations and charitable contributions budget. This year, partnering programs received $53.51 per enrolled Native student served.

Tribal Council Secretary Frankie Hargis said the tribe is able to impact the lives of so many more young people when developing quality partnerships with organizations that are active in the communities.

“By partnering with churches, schools and organizations inside the communities, we are able to make our tribal dollars go further and have a greater impact,” Hargis said. “These organizations know the needs of our young people in their respective communities, and I am proud that the Cherokee Nation can contribute to meeting those needs.”

New Life Church in Stilwell is one of the organizations partnering with the tribe. At the beginning of every school year, the church hosts a cookout and backpack giveaway night for parents and students in Adair County.

In addition to providing backpacks full of school supplies at the beginning of the year, the church also partners with five rural Adair County schools and uses the tribal dollars to provide nutritious weekend snacks to students in need every week during the school year. Of the 234 students served by New Life Church, 222 are Native.

“The Cherokee Nation has truly been a blessing to the people of Adair County and all of northeast Oklahoma. We are very thankful to be able to partner with the tribe and help the students and parents in our communities with necessary school supplies and nutritious snacks on the weekends,” said New Life Church Pastor Max Ford. “On behalf of our community, we want to thank Chief Baker’s administration and the Tribal Council for their generosity.”

The Cherokee Nation donated to the following organizations:

Organization County Award Amount
New Life Church Adair $11,878.75
Hulbert Public Schools Cherokee $10,755.08
Tahlequah Public Schools Cherokee $2,568.38
Craig County Salvation Army Craig $428.07
Okay Public Schools Delaware $535.08
Chouteau-Mazie Public Schools Mayes $1,658.74
First United Methodist Church Locust Grove Mayes $1,498.22
Boulevard Christian Church Muskogee $4,815.71
Chandler Road Church of Christ Muskogee $1,016.65
Eastern Heights Baptist Church Muskogee $2,942.93
First United Methodist Church Muskogee Muskogee $802.62
Grace Ministries, Inc. Muskogee $642.10
Warner Public Schools Muskogee $6,849.01
Boys & Girls Club of Nowata Nowata $5,671.84
Oologah United Methodist Church Rogers $2,054.70
Rogers County Salvation Army Rogers $9,042.84
Hillside Pentecostal Church Sequoyah $856.13
Lee’s Chapel Assembly of God Sequoyah $1,177.17
The BOD Church Sequoyah $642.09
Agape Mission of Bartlesville, Inc. Washington $9,363.88


Cherokee Nation News Release
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