Katie Mayes, CNB project lead; Deborah Fritts, CNB Interpretive project coordinator; Geno McCombs, Iron Gate kitchen employee; Mary Pratt, CNB business development sales consultant; and Christina Maxwell, Iron Gate volunteer coordinator.
Published February 27, 2018
Tribally owned company ramps up donations, volunteer hours at Iron Gate
TULSA, OKLAHOMA – Cherokee Nation Businesses and its team of dedicated employee volunteers are increasing support in the battle against hunger, as well as helping those in need endure the harsh elements of Oklahoma’s ever-changing weather.
CNB’s Community Impact Team, a companywide initiative dedicated to helping promote volunteerism and community engagement, has committed an increase in volunteer efforts and donations to Iron Gate’s soup kitchen and grocery pantry in downtown Tulsa.
“Iron Gate relies on the generosity of volunteers to help us feed Tulsa’s hungry every day. We are so grateful to the employees of Cherokee Nation Businesses, who not only donated much-needed canned goods, but also gave of their time, helping us serve food,” said Carrie Vesely Henderson, executive director for Iron Gate. “We’re thrilled that they have increased their support recently and will be serving regularly through June. We’re celebrating 40 years of feeding Tulsa, and we couldn’t do it without generous community partners like the Cherokee Nation and its businesses.”
The company kicked off this year’s endeavor with supply drives to collect food and winter weather items. CIT volunteers donated, collected and recently delivered nearly 300 items, including food, toiletries, coats, blankets and winter accessories.
“Iron Gate’s Grocery Pantry is always in need of protein-rich items, and Cherokee Nation Businesses really came through for us, donating more than 230 pounds of protein and other canned goods,” said Ashli Sims, Iron Gate development director. “Many of our pantry guests have jobs. They have a home. They just need a little extra to help make ends meet that month. So this donation will have a huge impact on them.”
This year, the tribally owned company moved its service day, when teams of CNB employees volunteer together at Iron Gate, from Saturdays to Wednesdays. The move encourages more employees to volunteer and increases accessibility, allowing entire departments to participate together as a team building opportunity. The schedule of employees signed up for shifts at Iron Gate is booked through the summer and continues to increase.
Employees with CNB’s audit department volunteer at Iron Gate’s soup kitchen during one of the company’s recent service days. CNB employees Luke Smith, Kathrine Larsen, Chris Twist and Erica Dempsey; Iron Gate operations assistant manager Kenny Reynolds; CNB employees Samantha Humphrey, Tory McKinney and Jenni Proctor.
“We are proud partners with Iron Gate and longtime supporters of its mission to feed the hungry while providing a place of comfort,” said Shawn Slaton, CEO of Cherokee Nation Businesses. “Our employees have given their time and personal resources to the nonprofit’s soup kitchen, grocery pantry and Kids Pantry since 2011. It is their continued dedication that has encouraged us, as a company, to increase our support of the organization.”
Last year, CNB employees dedicated roughly 4,000 volunteer service hours to community outreach projects and numerous charitable efforts, including Iron Gate, Cherokee Nation Angel Project, Junior Achievement and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s Trash-OFF and Adopt-A-Highway programs. They also coordinate essential item and school supply drives, blood donation events, the tribe’s Heart of a Nation annual fundraising campaign and many other efforts.
Iron Gate is always in need of additional volunteers, as well as donations of protein-rich canned goods, peanut butter, juice boxes and shelf-stable milk. For more information, to donate items or to get involved, please visitwww.irongatetulsa.org.