With a goal of connecting children in foster care to loving families, several community organizations are partnering for a two-day festive event.
One Church One Child, the Department of Human Services and the STEM program at Tinker Air Force Base will host “Hoops for Hope” on Friday and Aug. 17 in the gymnasium at Millwood High School.
“We feel this is like a beautiful partnership,” said Clarese Crutchfield, foster and adoption recruitment supervisor at DHS.
One Church One Child is a nonprofit organization that recruits families for foster and adoption from local churches.
Leslie Berry, the agency’s field recruiter, said the event will include something for all age groups, including a 3-on-3 basketball tournament and STEM activities. She said several star University of Oklahoma athletes and sports leaders will be on hand to greet the crowd and sign autographs, including Billy Sims, Barry Switzer and Thomas Lott, plus OU and Millwood alums Frank Moore and Michael Berry.
James Crutchfield, K-12 STEM education outreach coordinator, said he is excited to introduce attendees, particularly underrepresented groups like girls and minorities, to the world of STEM. He said he and several speakers plan to educate them about the many opportunities for careers in this area and allow them to take part in interactive sessions featuring virtual reality headsets and other items.
Crutchfield said vendor tables will be set up so attendees may connect with different community groups. She said the Oklahoma Heart Gallery, featuring pictures of children available for adoption, will be on display, as well.
James said he is passionate about the STEM aspect of Hoops for Hope, but he also is looking forward to the community event for other reasons. He said he is a former foster partner so he understands the need for more families to open their homes to children.
Berry said she is particularly interested in raising awareness about the need for more foster families for teens and sibling groups.
Crutchfield said ultimately, the partnering agencies would like to see a day when families outnumber youths in need.
“Our vision is to have foster homes waiting for the children,” she said.
The three said part of the proceeds of the event will go to the Millwood High School girls basketball program.
‘Hoops for Hope’
When: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 17.
Where: Millwood High School, 6718 N Martin Luther King Ave.
Information: One Church Child, 424-0225; email firstname.lastname@example.org.