PSO employees spread throughout metropolitan Tulsa on Friday as part of the 2022 Tulsa Area United Way Day of Caring.
PSO took on eight projects for four TAUW agencies – from helping refurbish a rural Creek County campsite for Camp Fire Girls to reorganizing storage at a downtown Salvation Army outreach mission to doing yard work for an amputee in midtown Tulsa.
The day’s labor reflected the diversity of the United Way’s mission and the significant needs of its 59 member agencies and their clients.
PSO President and Chief Operating Officer Peggy Simmons, 2022 campaign chair for Tulsa Area United Way, teamed up with TAUW President and CEO Alison Anthony in a Facebook Live event as PSO employees were preparing to build a wheelchair ramp at the home of Brenda, an Ability Resources client.
“I am so excited to be here with the rest of the PSO team for Day of Caring,” Simmons said. “I can assure you that we are committed to enhancing the lives and working for and being there for our neighbors.
“It’s an honor to chair this year’s campaign, and … to join the 3,000 other amazing volunteers on this Day of Caring. We appreciate – sincerely appreciate – each one of the volunteers and everything that you are doing out there in the community.”
Anthony said the Day of Caring mobilized more than 3,000 volunteers on some 300 projects.
“When you give to United Way, you’re helping someone like Brenda have a new ramp,” Anthony said. “We are doing all of this to make the community stronger.”
Simmons and Anthony gave shout-outs to Mark Butler, organizer or PSO’s Day of Caring effort, and Infrastructure Engineer Principal Scott MacGregor who has been part of 23 Day of Caring events.
MacGregor led the team building Brenda’s wheelchair ramp, the ninth or tenth ramp they have built over the years. The effort was featured prominently in the Tulsa World report on the Day of Caring.
The secret to building a good ramp, MacGregor said, is to have a hard-working team that takes pleasure from helping others.
“I just like to see the smiles we put on people’s faces when they see the ramps,” MacGregor said.
While MacGregor’s team was getting started on the ramp, another group was rebuilding benches at Camp Okiwanee, a Camp Fire Girls of Oklahoma facility in rural Creek County.
Meanwhile, in the Osage Hills, another cohort of PSO employees were helping organize supplies for the Addiction and Substance Use Disorder Services Program at the 1 W. 36th Street North facility of Family and Children’s Services.
Simultaneously, at two other Family and Children’s Services offices – the Children’s Center at 650 S. Peoria Ave. and the Early Childhood Program at 5310 E. 31st St. – PSO people were organizing a food pantry, cleaning office spaces and sorting toys and craft supplies for young clients.
In downtown Tulsa, Energy Efficiency and Consumer Programs Coordinator Mike Kernan was part of a group that organized supplies for Tulsans who turn for help to the Salvation Army facility.
“PSO has a great history of giving back to the community,” said Kernan, who has been a part of Day of Caring for years. “Just being a small part is incredibly rewarding.”