Echota Behavioral Health, a business of the United Keetoowah Band Corporate Board, and Latter-day Saint Charities have partnered to help individuals and families in need in the area.

This past week, representatives from LDS Charities presented a donation of $5,000 to the group to help clients and area residents with basic needs.

“This partnership we are building with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been such a blessing to our program and to our community,” said Jimmie Fite, director of Echota Behavioral Health. “Many in our community struggle with anxiety and depression, as well as loss of income due to the COVID pandemic. There is a lot of need in our community right now, and this relationship is helping to relieve many families by providing basic needs.”

Last month, the two groups partnered together for a clothing and basic needs giveaway, which benefited over 100 individuals who had needs of blankets, clothing and hygiene products. Several hundred items were freely given to individuals and families in the area who needed them most during these winter months.

“The Savior’s admonition to feed the hungry and clothe the naked is still relevant,” said Stephanie Updike, a volunteer for LDS Charities. “We are grateful for the opportunity to have a small part in assisting in the great work being done at Echota Behavioral Health.”

Echota Behavioral Health offers treatment of behavioral and mental health for individuals and families. Although operated by the UKB Corporate Board, you do not have to be Native American in order to receive services and assistance.

Latter-day Saint Charities is the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Their purpose is to relieve suffering, foster self-reliance and provide opportunities for service. Sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Latter-day Saint Charities follows the admonition of Jesus Christ to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, take in the stranger, clothe the naked and visit the sick and afflicted.

Unique in its support structure, Latter-day Saint Charities has access to the resources of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which include funding and local volunteer support. More than one million workdays of labor are contributed each year by volunteers in support of welfare initiatives.

Bishop Spencer Johnson, leader of the Tahlequah congregation of the church, said this partnership is a great opportunity for area church members to come together, look outside themselves, and serve others at the end of a difficult year.

“As is always the case in Christ-like service, those who served were lifted up just as much as those being served,” Johnson said.

Fite and Updike both agreed that while there are many needs in the area, we each can do our part by helping one person and one family at a time.

“If you need some help, we welcome you to come and visit with us,” Fite said. “We care about individuals and families, and we will offer help without judgement to anyone in need.” For more information, visit echotabehavioralhealth.org or call 918-708-9009.

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