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Mindy Stitt: Energy industry powers support for nonprofits

Portrait of Mindy StittFrom fighting hunger and homelessness to providing art and cultural programs, your friends, neighbors, and family members in Oklahoma’s oil and natural gas industry fund some of the largest philanthropic efforts in our state. The people of Oklahoma Oil & Natural Gas remain deeply committed to helping our communities year after year. Nonprofits are reporting that the industry accounts for a large percentage of their annual operating budgets every year, including 2020.

The people of Oklahoma Oil & Natural Gas have contributed more than $60 million to the United Way of Central Oklahoma over the last 10 years, providing on average one-third of the monetary donations raised by its campaigns each year. The United Way has a massive impact on the metro-area, helping one in three central Oklahomans. These contributions help struggling families get back on their feet, teach underprivileged children important life skills and provide free health services.

From volunteer hours to financial support, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma can also depend on the industry to help provide meals for fellow Oklahomans every year. The people of Oklahoma Oil & Natural Gas contributed nearly $1.4 million to RFBO in 2020, playing a vital role in ensuring Oklahomans in need don’t go hungry.

Our industry is also essential to funding the arts community and other enrichment and quality-of-life programs. Last year alone, they provided nearly $3 million to help support the work of Allied Arts. These funds provided free performances and programs across our communities, integrated art education into our schools, brought new works of art to local museums and gave financial support and other resources to approximately 40 local art organizations.

The people of Oklahoma Oil & Natural Gas, made up of more than 2,500 producers and thousands of royalty owners, are focused on empowering unlimited opportunity for all. And while the past year has been a challenge for many of us, our industry will always step up to help the organizations that touch our neighbors’ lives.