Olney participates in Texoma Gives
On September 13, Texoma Gives served as the platform for 189 nonprofits and 3,370 donors, who contributed more than 1.2 million dollars. The Olney Christian Community Center, known as The Refuge, was one of the participating nonprofits in Olney and has been affiliated with the campaign for three years. The Refuge set a goal to increase their donor base and to exceed the $106,000 raised in 2017.
In 2018, The Refuge raised $157,574, which will be used to support all their programs, such as after-school tutoring, elementary tutoring, arts, karate and fifthquarter, said Office Manager Kristy Nantz.
With their fundraising goal met, Kristy said they are looking into additional programs and activities.
“We would like to develop an afterschool program for the older kids and offer more tutoring to bring in the older kids,” Kristy said.
Executive Director Rodney Nantz excitedly explained a program the organization is proud of—the Fifth Quarter Program.
“The churches facilitate the 5th quarter for all the students on Friday night in a fun, safe, protected environment [at The Refuge] for two extra hours. It includes food, games, a devotion and sometimes praise and worship. Only students and sponsors can get in,” Rodney said.
Other attendees vocalized their support for the Refuge.
“Two summers ago, the Refuge sent a crew down to Olney First Assembly of God and they did a ton of work,” Charlie Miller said. “They worked all day for two days to give back to the community. I think that by The Refuge working with kids and giving them a place to come together, they learn how to deal with each other. In today’s world, everyone is stuck on their iPhone, and they don’t learn how to communicate. By having a place to come where they can communicate and socialize with each other is a great thing for the community.”
His wife Sue chimed in, “and they learn about the Lord. That is the main thing.”
“Since Rodney has been here, he has a penetration that goes into your soul when he talks to you,” patron David King said. “He comes in at five in the morning on some days, and he doesn’t leave until after 7 or 8 at night. We are supporting [The Refuge] through donations because this is a mission field. The youth need to know Jesus. You won’t see this at the YMCA or the Boys Club, but if the kids come through these doors before they leave, they are going to hear about Jesus Christ.”
Kristy expressed her gratitude to the 2018 donors.
“We want to thank them from the bottom of our hearts. We wouldn’t be here without them, obviously God first, but the donors, out of the desires of their heart, have kept us here. So as long as God wants us here and the donors want us here, we will be here,” she said.