OAKS — Employee volunteers from Cherokee Nation Businesses and Cherokee Nation Entertainment recently visited Oaks Indian Mission to deliver donated items, while helping prepare a cottage for the arrival of new house parents and the children under their care.
In an ongoing partnership between CNB, CNE and Oaks Indian Mission, employees offer both their time and personal funds to enhance the lives of the children at the mission.
More than 1,400 items collected during a supply drive were purchased and gathered by employees from various Cherokee Nation properties. Travel-size toiletry items, bottled water, snack foods, games and luggage were a large part of the donated goods that will be distributed to Oaks Indian Mission students attending upcoming cultural and educational field trips.
The children in Oaks Indian Mission are cared for by house parents and live in unique cottages located throughout the campus.
CNB and CNE employee volunteers spent time painting the Seminole Cottage, a cottage planned to house two house parents, their three daughters and six boys who call the mission their home.
“Our employee volunteers worked in various parts of the cottage, painting rooms with bright, fun colors chosen by the children who will live there,” said Rusty Stamps, general manager of Cherokee Casino & Hotel West Siloam Springs. “We are very proud of all the work our employees do and the time they contribute in the community.”
Throughout the year, CNB and CNE employees volunteer at the mission during company-organized outings such as the painting project. Many employees also undertake tasks as tutors; mentors; art, music and pottery teachers; storytellers to the younger children; and organizers of cultural sports activities. Employees of Cherokee Casino & Hotel West Siloam Springs also bake and donate a birthday cake for Oaks Indian Mission children to celebrate their birthdays on a monthly basis.
“CNB volunteers have become part of a larger effort to make our mission a better place for the kids,” said Deb Reed, interim executive director of Oaks Indian Mission. “When employees from CNB and CNE, who also happen to be Cherokee Nation citizens, come volunteer - what a tremendous example it sets for the kids. They get to see people, just like them, taking care of each other and giving back.”
Children who call Oaks Indian Mission home are members of tribal nations located in Oklahoma and surrounding states. Most are homeless, orphaned, abandoned, neglected or abused, or have parents or grandparents who simply cannot provide adequate food, clothing, a stable home, education, discipline or spiritual guidance.
Oaks Indian Mission cares for children ages 4 to 18. Throughout the school year, the mission houses up to
48 residents, while a majority of children stay through the summer months.
To learn more about Oaks Indian Mission, visit www.oaksindianmission.org.