NORMAN — Less than a year ago, the Center for Children and Families (CCFI), a United Way of Norman funded partner, broke ground on renovations for its new facility at 210 S. Cockrel Ave. At the same time, CCFI launched a $3.5 million Champions for Children Campaign to fund the project.
The organization moved one step closer this week in completing its campaign when it received a $100,000 grant from the Sarkeys Foundation, making the Foundation’s total giving to the project $300,000.
“We are so proud that the Sarkeys Foundation has chosen to advance their mission through support of this project,” said Katie Fitzgerald, executive director of CCFI. “Sarkeys Foundation has been a steadfast advocate for improving children’s lives throughout Oklahoma and we look forward to recognizing their commitment by naming our new Children’s Services Wing in their honor.”
Once fully operational, CCFI officials say the facility will allow the organization to double the time children and youth can participate in daily afterschool services, expand CCFI’s therapeutic program for children who have experienced child abuse and neglect, and integrate prevention and education services for families under one roof — services that are currently spread throughout the community in borrowed or leased spaces.
The renovation will include a Youth and Family Center to house afterschool programs, parenting classes and supervised visits and exchanges; an outdoor therapeutic playground; a kitchen to expand the agency’s partnership with the Regional Food Bank; and additional storage space for CCFI’s Baby Pantry.
CCFI operates the largest Baby Pantry in Cleveland County, having distributed more than 93,000 diapers, hundreds of cans of formula and other essential baby care items to almost 4,000 people in 2013 — all donated by the local community.
Remaining tours of the new building site are available at 9 a.m. on May 31; 5:30 p.m. on June 11; 9 a.m. on June 20; and noon on June 25.