Are you wanting to volunteer this semester? Do you need volunteer hours for a class or an extra curricular? Reaching Our City is a great way to get started if you are looking to volunteer for a nonprofit in Oklahoma City. Reaching Our City is connected to Bethany First Church of the Nazarene, which is right across the street from Southern Nazarene University.
Reaching Our City is a faith-based community development organization in Northwest Oklahoma City that supports and equips people to strengthen themselves, their families, and their neighborhood. Reaching Our City was established in 1999 and annually serves tens of thousands of different individuals in the Oklahoma City area through a variety of community services. These include a resale shop, a large food pantry, community development, a jobs program, a women’s social support group, and many other educational and social programs.
There are over 300 people that volunteer regularly at Reaching Our City, accumulating over 10,000 hours of community service every year. Their food resource center is one of the largest pantries of its kind in Oklahoma City. There are over 720,000 pounds of food distributed every month, and that serves almost 20,000 people. The food pantry serves families in ten different Oklahoma City zip codes.
The resale shop is an extension of the mission of Reaching Our City. The people of Northwest Oklahoma City and Bethany have established this shop as a place to share. This can include coats for the winter, an unused bedroom set, or dishes for a family with an empty cupboard. The main ways to help serve others at Reaching Our City include community meals, physical work projects, and mentoring and training. There is something here for everyone. As stated before, there are many other volunteer opportunities through Reaching Our City, these are just a few of the main ones.
Xavier Bryant, a senior at SNU, has spent time volunteering at Reaching Our City and enjoyed his time there. Bryant says, “I would tell SNU students that it is a welcoming environment and everyone loves what they do there.” He also says, “My favorite part of volunteering there was seeing the impact of our work on the community of theirs. The work you do is really life changing for them and it is hard to see it until you are actually there and see the finished product of your work.”
Reach out to Jason Rowinsky at Reaching Our City to learn more about volunteer opportunities.
Photo by Mike Erskine