Our mission is to provide help, hope and the opportunity to succeed.
Thank you for considering a gift to Sunbeam Family Services and caring about the wonderful people we serve! Because of people like you, Sunbeam is able to make a difference in the lives vulnerable individuals, families, children and seniors in our community.
Giving online is safe, fast and convenient. Sunbeam Family Services is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit agency, making your gift tax-deductible. Below, you can see the different ways you can make an impact at Sunbeam through a financial gift...
Sunbeam opened its doors in 1907, to
serve as a children’s home for dependent and neglected children. The agency's
original mission was to provide a safe and caring environment for homeless
children until permanency could be established in their lives. In the late
1930's, Sunbeam expanded its services to include a psychological services
clinic, casework services, foster care, and adoptive home placement.
During World War II, Sunbeam
operated a nursery for the children of women who worked in war connected industries
and licensed other providers of similar child care operations. The post-war
1940's marked a period of expansion into adult mental health services for
Sunbeam. Sunbeam provided the only community based mental health services in
existence in Oklahoma at that time.
In the late 1940's Sunbeam again
broke new ground when it served as a resource for emergency detention of
children under the age of 16, who had committed crimes. Sunbeam's Board of
Directors provided leadership for the passage of a bond issue that created what
is now known as the Oklahoma County Juvenile Bureau. In the early 1970’s,
Sunbeam began to provide services to the elderly and their families, now known
as the Senior Companion Program.
In 2001, Sunbeam opened a ten-bed
emergency shelter for senior citizens that are victims of elder abuse and
persons made homeless by reason of a catastrophic medical problem. Another
service for senior citizens, developed in 2001, is a program called Caregiver
Fundamentals. Although it was originally designed to provide training and
support for individuals who are caring for an aging family member, in 2003 the
scope of the program was expanded to include services for grandparents raising
Sunbeam was notified that the Casey
Family Program, the nation’s premier foster care program, had selected Sunbeam
to provide services to their foster children in Oklahoma when the local Casey
office closed in 2005. Effective January 19, 2004, Casey leased office space in
the Sunbeam Home and our two agencies began working together to transition
Casey’s foster children and foster families into Sunbeam’s care. Also in 2004,
Sunbeam was awarded the contract to administer the Early Head Start Program in
Oklahoma City. Our experience with Early Head Start provided a natural
opportunity for Sunbeam to serve as Managing Partner of Oklahoma City Educare,
which formally opened July 13, 2009.
For over 100
years, Sunbeam has evolved to serve the ever-changing needs of the community.
At Sunbeam, we feel that it is a privilege to serve our community and we look
forward to another 100 years of service to vulnerable children, seniors and
I am drawn to Sunbeam’s mission, to provide people of all ages with help, hope, and the opportunity to succeed, because it calls upon us to prove that we are effective. It calls upon us to help families make change. Sunbeam gives people hope. No matter what their yesterday may have been, we can help them see that their tomorrow can bring forth a better day.
Today, more than ever, Sunbeam continues to meet the growing needs of the most vulnerable people of our community. Through its Counseling, Early Childhood Education, Foster Care and Senior Services, Sunbeam is able to change the lives of the children, families and seniors we serve, providing hope for the future and an improved level of functioning.
Fiscal year 2013 was a very exciting one, with programs meeting great demand and providing outstanding services to clients. However, our community faced substantial challenges and was greatly impacted by the tornado that hit Moore in May 2013. I am proud to say that Sunbeam has a long history of rising to community challenges and last May was no exception. Our incredible staff sprung into action, providing support and mental health services to those who were affected by the Moore tornado. Sunbeam is there for the long-haul for those in need.
In this report, you will see the growth of each of our programs and how Sunbeam is changing the lives of so many in this community. Thanks to the generous support of the community, the selfless work of volunteers and the dedication of the staff, Sunbeam served 6,953 clients last fiscal year, which is a 24% increase over the previous fiscal year. In addition, we more than doubled the number of volunteers serving our clients. We are forever thankful for this support.
Our dream of a new campus for Sunbeam started to take shape this year! We completed the first phase of our Sunbeam: New Home, Forever Family Capital Campaign and started construction of our new campus. With this new home, we will be able to serve more of Oklahoma City’s most vulnerable citizens for years to come.
On behalf of the Board, staff and the people we serve, I thank you for caring about Sunbeam. Thanks to people like you, we at Sunbeam can and will continue to ensure people of all ages and stages receive the help and hope they need so they have the opportunity to succeed. Your support truly makes all the difference. Thank you.
2013/2014 Board President
Learning begins long before a child starts kindergarten. Sunbeam Family Services Early Childhood program is a leader in early childhood education, focusing on the youngest in our community, prenatal to five, preparing them and their families to enter kindergarten with the skills necessary to be ready for school and life.
Kim Nichols is the foster mother of two girls. She is a 46 year-old technology professional living in Oklahoma City. Kim credits Sunbeam for filling her need to serve children.
“Since I was in high school, I felt like I was called to work with kids,” explains Kim Nichols. “It’s funny how what we envision for ourselves is often not how it unfolds.”
After a lengthy time of trying to adopt a child, Kim heard about Sunbeam through a close friend. “As a single woman, I knew that I wanted a family, but the adoption process had been very lengthy and frustrating.” After speaking with a Sunbeam Case Manager and deciding to move forward with becoming a foster parent, Kim was quickly approved to be a foster parent. “I did not know if I could do it, but I prayed and thought about it. At the end of day, it’s a service to my two perfectly beautiful little girls – they just need a home, stability, love and care.”
“Weekly, I am glad that I have chosen Sunbeam Family Services to walk this path with me,” admits Kim. “I do not know what I would do without the guidance and counsel I have received from my Sunbeam Case Workers! They are always there, always responding, and always have my back. They have worked hard to protect me, and the girls I foster.”
As a first-time parent, Kim admits that it has been awesome to see the girls personalities develop, and establish their routines. As any parent knows, day-to-day is both challenging and great. Kim recalls the need for her girls to have security in basic needs. “For my oldest, she had never been able to eat on a regular schedule so things like an eating schedule, and a daily routine were a huge deal.”
Kim is often asked how she could chose to foster when the children might end up returning to their birth family. She says that it is a simple decision when focusing on the children, and knowing that her role in their lives is truly one of longevity. “My goal is to be their constant, a window in their lifetime where they felt loved and safe!”
"Life is all about giving," says Jimmie McEwen, 70-year old Sunbeam Senior Companion Volunteer. In 2008, a chance encounter with a friend brought Jimmie to Sunbeam to serve as a Senior Companion Volunteer.
After graduating from her training classes, Jimmie was matched with her first client - Henry, a senior who was battling Alzheimer's. Disease. Jimmie connected with Henry, using what she had learned from her own experiences with her uncle who fought the same disease and the techniques she learned through her Senior Companion training. "I got in his world with him and let him take me through his journey," explained Jimmie. "He was a quiet man, an excellent violin player and he and Margaret loved to dance."
With Jimmie, Margaret (Henry's wife) gained an ally in helping Henry along his journey. Margaret and Jimmie would attend Alzheimer's support groups together, connecting with others in the community who were facing the same challenges. "She (Margaret) was so devoted to Henry," said Jimmie. "You always hear 'two become one' and Margaret and Henry were truly one." Sadly, Henry passed away in 2012 and Margaret became isolated. Margaret was in in need of the kind of companionship and support Henry had received. Margaret and Jimmie were matched and their friendship grew even stronger.
"I get as much out of it as Margaret does!," says Jimmie of her match with Margaret. "We go to the swing dancing club onTuesday. When she gets going, you can't stop her. She loves to dance - its in her bones!" Jimmie and Margaret can be seen at the senior center line dancing, at the gym in their "Silver Sneakers" exercise group, or even at the circus. What Jimmie has given Henry and Margaret is more than companionship. Through Jimmie's service, Margaret has been able to remain living independently and Henry was able to remain in his home and avoid entering an assisted living center.
Sunbeam is a long-term recovery agency, when it comes to volunteers. With the recent natural disasters that have affected our community, here's how Sunbeam has been a part of the recovery...
2. From this partnership blossomed an effort of providing group therapeutic groups for children on site at Moore Youth and Family.
3. Sunbeam Family Services has committed five clinicians to assist in touching every student in the Moore School District through a curriculum on coping. Staff have been trained for implementation and will begin conducting groups in the schools once school starts. Moore Youth and Family is coordinating this effort with Save the Children.
4. Sunbeam staff are also helping Moore Youth and Family in conducting staff (admin, principals, teachers, etc) of the district workshops on managing their own stressors from the tornado, learning new coping skills, and recognizing stressors/coping challenges for their students
5. Sunbeam is serving as a referral point for Moore School District personnel who need additional assistance for a longer term need.
6. We will also be helping those who were hospitalized or had a family death as well as Moore residents in general accessing and funding mental health services. This role will include at least monthly contacts with those who were impacted as well as coordinating of funding resources for mental health services.
7. Our staff attend the weekly meeting of the long term recovery committee. We will also be serving soon on the Spiritual and Emotional Care Subcommittee as well as the Unmet Needs Committee which connects resources to those in need.
Jim Priest is a husband, dad, attorney, author and speaker. He has practiced law in Oklahoma for 34 years and has been consistently recognized as one of the best lawyers in the nation. He has been actively involved in the non- profit community for many years, serving as a board member and president of the Regional Food Bank and on the boards of Habitat for Humanity, The Boy Scouts Last Frontier Council, The Bethany Public Schools Foundation, Calm Waters, The Brandon Whitten Institute for Addiction and Recovery in Ada, and Variety Health Center. Priest also wrote a newspaper column in The Oklahoman for ten years entitled “Family Talk.” He has served as an adjunct professor at Southern Nazarene University teaching business ethics in the MBA program and has also taught at Oklahoma City University School of Law on the subjects of Complex Litigation and Employment Law. Priest was honored in 2014 by the state wide organization, The Oklahoma Business Ethics Consortium, with its highest individual honor for ethics, the Executive Pilot award.
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