Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

November 27, 2012

Making a difference

TAHLEQUAH — Cindy Clark wanted to make a difference in people’s lives when she started Tahlequah Pay It Forward.

The mission of the local non-profit organization is to help those in need and helping the next generation become leaders has become a part of that calling.

Sign-ups for the Cherokee County Teens Making A Difference Program, or Teens MAD, are currently taking place, and Clark hopes to have to the teen group active by January 2013. Fee for the one-year membership is $10, which will provide the participant needed supplies and a T-shirt. The group is open to any teenager in the Cherokee County area between the ages of 12 and 18.

“It’s a chance to make new friends and socialize. We’ve got some church youth groups that want to sign up. We’ve got about seven people who have already signed up,” she said. “We just started everything [with forming the group and getting people interested], but we hope by Jan. 1 it really gets rolling. We’re going to be in the Christmas parade, so we’re asking anyone who wants to join us to come on out.”

Clark and Pay It Forward, which is also known as the Cherokee County Pay It Forward Foundation, has helped hundreds of people with clothing, food, furniture, household appliances, children’s items and has also held numerous fundraisers from Indian taco sales to bag sales. Clark wants the Teens MAD group to become an extension of Pay It Forward in giving back to the community while getting involved through projects and fundraisers, but wants the teen group to be its own organization run by teens who care about the future of their community.

“Basically, it’s going to be the same thing as Pay It Forward, but in a different way. They’re going to learn how to become leaders in our society. They’ll talk with local representatives, historians, we will visit the VA hospital – all the hospitals, nursing homes and we’ll also send care packages overseas,” she said. “I want to teach them how helping others is what it’s all about, and that it’s not all about them. And also teach them a skill they can take with them as they grow.  In the Teens MAD organization, they’re going to have voted in seats. They’ll have a president, vice president, secretary – everything like Pay It Forward. They will learn to do a budget. They will do their own fundraising and will plan projects, and they will help get others involved.”

As described in the welcome letter new members will receive, the Teens MAD group will pledge to serve the community with respect, honor, loyalty and obedience to become leaders that members of their peer group will look up to.

“I’ve seen what my mom does. She has helped a lot of people, and I want to follow in her footsteps. I saw the big thing that happens to people whenever you help someone,” said 14-year-old Tia Ramirez. “So seeing her help other people – I kind of want to be just like her.”

Ramirez said it’s common for guys and girls in her age range to focus on individual interests and avoid getting involved with civic-oriented activities like visiting community elders living in a nursing home, but believes there are people her age who care and want to make a difference.

“A lot of teenagers now just don’t really care about anything. They think ‘oh, I’m so cool. I’m not going to do anything to help.’ I don’t think they think about this as much as you should. I think they would have a lot of fun,” she said. “They think it’s going to be a lot of work. I thought it was going to be a lot of work, and then I started reading more about it and I was like ‘this sounds like so much fun that I actually want to do this’.”

Clark said she anticipates the group will meet once a month for meetings, while the group will also plan “at least one good activity a month.”  The first meeting will be held at a local bowling alley to provide for a fun ice-breaker setting.

“We’re going to pay for a game of bowling for them so we can just kind of do a meet-and-greet. We’re not sure of the date because we have to talk to the bowling alley and set up the day, but we will do it in January,” she said.

“We’re hoping the first week in January we’ll have that done because we’ll also be doing our [Tahlequah Pay It Forward location] grand opening.”

Tahlequah Pay It Forward is located at 1315 W. Choctaw, and receives or provides needed items for needy families or an individual. Ernie Briggs is a volunteer, believes the Teens MAD group will teach needed and valuable life lessons.

“I think it’s important they learn that life’s not about taking, but giving, and I think that’s part of what this group will be doing,” he said.

 

To see the complete version of this article, subscribe to the Daily Press e-edition by following the link below.

Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered every day to your home or office.

Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition. It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • svw-Hepatitis.jpg Hepatitis vaccinations important today

    The phrase “back to school” may be disdained by kids for many reasons, including a trip to the doctor’s office to update immunizations.
    But hepatitis cases in Oklahoma provide a good example of why these vaccinations are important.
    “There was a time when Hepatitis A was just crazy in Oklahoma. The state was actually known for it,” said Becky Coffman, an epidemiologist with the Oklahoma Health Department’s Acute Disease Service.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • hood-raymond.jpg One man caught, another sought after foot chase

    Two people tried to escape sheriff’s deputies, and one was successful, after a traffic stop on U.S. Highway 62 last weekend.
    Deputy Bryan Qualls was on the highway when he noticed a red Chevrolet Avalanche matching the description of a truck that had been spotted at the scene of a recent burglary.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Detectives investigate deaths of two elderly residents

    Incident may be murder-suicide

    Tahlequah police detectives believe the deaths of two elderly Cherokee County residents are part of a murder-suicide that took place July 24-25.

    July 29, 2014

  • ts-Tax-free-main.jpg Shopper's delight

    Tax-free weekend coming up Aug. 1-3, just in time for back-to-school savings

    Attention, shoppers: Oklahoma’s Tax-Free Weekend is coming up, beginning at 12:01 a.m., Friday, Aug. 1.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • ballard-amanda.jpg Woman pleads no contest to molestation

    A Tahlequah woman accused of having more than 20 sexual encounters with a 13-year-old boy has pleaded no contest in exchange for a 15-year prison sentence, though 10 years have been suspended.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-arch-society.jpg Archaeologist: Spiro Mounds may have been ancient music haven

    People gathered from across the country at the “center of the universe,” bringing with them different styles of music and instruments, each thought to have its own power and importance.
    This could be the description of a modern music festival, but to Jim Rees, it is a picture of the Spiro Mounds 1,000 years before Columbus came to the Americas.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Two headed for trial for conspiracy to kill judge and others

    Two of the four people accused of conspiring to kill a Cherokee County judge and several other targets were bound over for trial Friday following a preliminary hearing in Tahlequah.

    July 28, 2014

  • Woman accused in embezzlement sought for arrest

    Court officials have issued a bench warrant for a woman who previously pleaded to embezzling more than $40,000 while she worked for Tahlequah attorney Park Medearis.

    July 28, 2014

  • CN, UKB battle over trust land application

    Two Tahlequah-based tribes presented oral arguments Friday in a protracted fight over a land-in-trust application.

    Over the course of five hours, attorneys for the Cherokee Nation, United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, Cherokee Nation Entertainment and the Department of the Interior made their cases before Northern District Judge Gregory Frizzell in a hearing that was originally scheduled for February.

     

    July 25, 2014

  • ts-NSU-Main-1-a.jpg No NSU pool, for now

    NSU experiencing delays in fitness center construction

    Earlier this month, Northeastern State University announced it is experiencing delays in the renovation of its fitness center and pool.
    The facility was officially shuttered Sept. 17, 2012, and at the time, the projected completion date for renovation was this fall.

    July 25, 2014 3 Photos

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Stocks