Catholic Charities Mary Martha Outreach is a volunteer-based community resource center helping provide food, clothing, and other services to those in need in Bartlesville and Northeast Oklahoma. Catholic Charities’ senior director, Tim Neuman, is proud of the work that the center does and sees the major impact that it has on our community.
“Our mission is to be Christ’s merciful love to those who suffer,” Tim says. “At the time, in Bartlesville, food insecurity is on the rise and many people worry about where their next meal is going to come from. This complicates their lives and makes everyday decisions and tasks harder. We work to ease the pain and help bring some security to those in this situation.
“Our main service is providing food,” he adds. “We use a drive-thru model to distribute various canned and dried foods, fresh produce, salads, and meat. We also provide clothing, including brand-new school uniforms for children at the beginning of the academic year. Haircuts and showers are also offered on a more limited basis.”
On average, Catholic Charities Mary Martha Outreach supplies a week’s worth of food to 187 cars per day, feeding over 6,000 people a month. All the food is bought and collected by private donations and grants and is distributed by a large team of volunteers.
Misty Wishall is one of only two full-time employees who oversee the operation in Bartlesville. She sees firsthand how these metrics impact the people who are served.
“We have many stories but one that really stands out is about a young woman who had been an addict,” Misty says. “She served time in prison where she found God and decided to turn her life around. When she got out, we helped her with food, clothing, and even furniture for her family as she returned to school. Now, she has a master’s degree and is a counselor for one of our partnering agencies. She uses her own story to help others who are struggling in similar ways that she had in the past.”
God is working through this ministry. People’s lives are being changed by the generosity and support found at Catholic Charities Mary Martha Outreach.
Those who serve with Catholic Charities are also making a profound impact. There are many different jobs to volunteer for — from sorting and packing, to distributing the food and speaking with those who are receiving the services. Every volunteer is crucial to the success of this ministry.
All are encouraged to get involved and serve. Currently, most volunteer hours are during the workday. However, the Mary Martha Center is working on expanding its services which would demand evening volunteers as well, providing great opportunities for those who work during the day to get involved.
In addition, Catholic Charities Mary Martha Outreach accepts financial and physical donations of canned and dried food, clothing in good condition, and even some select furniture items.
To serve or donate, visit cceok.org/give-help for more information and to register. If you or someone you know is in need, visit cceok.org/services or call 918-337-3703 — Catholic Charities Mary Martha Outreach will help.