December is a busy and stressful time for Santa Claus, who as everyone knows is feverishly working on getting everything ready for his big day. This year OICA has been the lead partner for OK Foster Wishes, and we know how he feels! We have been busier than Santa’s elves this month working on the campaign to provide over 6,000 gifts to children in foster care, with each gift being matched to a “wish list” submitted by children to their DHS caseworkers.
With two weeks to go until Christmas, I am pleased to report that we have all but 100 wish-lists filled, which I believe is a record in all the years this effort has been going on.
To get across the finish line, OICA employees will be heading to a local Walmart this week, using cash donations made at to go on a discounted shopping spree which the store generously offered to us (Note: we are still accepting donations at and we are excited to announce that any excess funds will be used to support a new youth leadership development being spearheaded by OICA in 2018).
Next Monday, December 18, we will partner with Oklahoma’s Credit Union, located at 3001 N. Lincoln Boulevard in Oklahoma City, to help collect additional gifts. We will be accepting ANY gifts and matching them with children who, for whatever reason, were unable to submit wish lists. The event is open to the public and will take place from 10 AM to 1 PM. I have it on good authority that Santa and Mrs. Claus will be attending, so we welcome children and families to stop by for pictures! The credit union also has a give-back special for those supporting OK Foster Wishes.  If you drop off an unwrapped toy of more than a $10 value, you will receive a complimentary Keep It Local Card.
Walmart and the Credit Union are just a few of the valuable partners who helped make this gift drive a success.  Prairie Oil and Gas, from Norman, is one of the great businesses that agreed to match dollar-for-dollar any donations given by their employees.  Bob Moore Subaru purchased all the gift-bags used for the program this year.  Feed the Children not only provided donated warehouse space to sort and store the gifts, but also donated thousands of toys toward the effort to ensure that all kids in Oklahoma foster care will receive a gift over the holidays. Our thanks go out to them and all the generous donors who have helped to provide foster children with toys.
In addition to OK Foster Wishes, OICA is working to complete another great project in 2017 that will create awareness of children’s issues and child well-being. We are in the final stages of completing work on a daily desktop calendar which will highlight a different statistic regarding policies impacting the youth of our state and nation, including research and data from our KIDS COUNT publication.  The calendar will also promote a different youth program working to help the kids of our state on every day of the year.  Our intention is to get this information on a daily basis to policymakers, including our state and federal elected officials from Oklahoma. We will have these calendars for sale at the end of December, so check for more details.
Thank you for following along with our efforts in 2017, and we appreciate your support as we move forward into the next year.  Working together, we can all make a difference for the children of Oklahoma!

By OICA CEO Joe Dorman

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