Zoe Institute, Inc.
Friday, October 20, 2017
Improving the Quality of Life

News Archive

Tahlequah (September 17, 2014) – Recently, the Walmart Foundation provided nearly $41,000 to the Zoë Institute through the Foundation’s State Giving Program in order to assist with upgrades to their food pantry and expansion of weekend backpack program. Specifically, this grant will positively impact the local community by providing resources for a new walk-in freezer, refrigerator as well as food purchases for the food pantry. The grant will also allow the organization to expand their weekend backpack program to two additional schools, which allows the organization to discreetly provide kid-friendly foods to children that would otherwise go hungry over the weekend. It takes approximately $200 dollars per child to provide weekend foods throughout the school year. “Through the Walmart grant we now have the funds to provide 24 additional children with weekend food throughout the 2014/2015 school year,” said Rhonda Clemons-Hill, executive director of the Zoë Institute. “We’re honored to receive this generous grant from the Walmart Foundation, and thanks to their kindness, we’ll be able to continue to ensure families in our community don’t go hungry.” For over a decade the Zoë Institute has been providing resources primarily to single-mother families, elderly, and children. They have grown to have over 60 volunteers and four part time staff while serving approximately 10,000 families in 2013. The nonprofit also partners with a local Walmart store to participate in the Feeding America program comprised of a network of food banks around the country. “At the Walmart Foundation, we understand that organizations such as the Zoë Institute are essential to building stronger communities. They share our values and are committed to helping those in need in the communities we serve,” said Holly Luke, Walmart vice president and regional general manager. “Through this grant, we are hopeful that residents in this state will feel a positive effect, and through that effect our impact will be expanded.” The Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program supports organizations that create opportunities so people can live better, awarding grants that have a long-lasting, positive impact on communities across the U.S. To be considered for support, prospective grantee organizations must submit applications through the Walmart Foundation State Giving Program’s online grant application. Applicants must have a current 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in order to meet the program’s minimum eligibility criteria. Additional information about the program’s funding guidelines and application process are available online at www.walmartfoundation.org/stategiving. As part of Walmart’s $2 billion commitment to fight hunger through 2015, Walmart stores in Oklahoma donated 15 million pounds of food, in fiscal year 2014, or the equivalent of 13 million meals. Additionally, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation gave more than $30 million in fiscal year 2014 in Oklahoma alone. For more information on Walmart’s fight against hunger, visit http://foundation.walmart.com/our-focus/hunger. About Zoë Institute Zoë Institute’s founding mission is to improve the quality of life of individuals both in the U.S. and abroad through education, life skills training, and humanitarian relief efforts. Zoë Institute has been serving hurting families in Cherokee County for over 10 years. To learn more about Zoë Institute, visit www.zoeinstitute.com. About Philanthropy at Walmart Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are committed to helping people live better through philanthropic efforts. By operating globally and giving back locally, Walmart is uniquely positioned to address the needs of the communities it serves and make a significant social impact within its core areas of giving: Hunger Relief & Healthy Eating, Sustainability, Career Opportunity and Women’s Economic Empowerment. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are leading the fight against hunger in the United States with a $2 billion commitment through 2015. Walmart has donated more than 1 billion meals to those in need across the country. To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit foundation.walmart.com.

Zoë Institute Receives $20,000 Contribution

Cherokee Nation Deputy Principal Chief S. Joe Crittenden joined employees from Cherokee Nation Businesses as they delivered nearly 500 food items to Zoë Institute.  From left to right: Donetta Johnson, coordinator of Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism; Amy Sanders, community relations coordinator for Cherokee Nation Businesses; April Smith, volunteer from 2911 Church; Machia McLemore, Cherokee Casino Tahlequah; Rhonda Clemons-Hill, executive director of the Zoe Institute; Erin Williams, Cherokee Casino Fort Gibson; Christy Evans, volunteer from 2911 Church; Jodi McMullen, volunteer from 2911 Church; Marlane Welch, volunteer from 2911 Church; S. Joe Crittenden, Deputy Principal Chief of Cherokee Nation.Cherokee Nation Deputy Principal Chief S. Joe Crittenden joined employees from Cherokee Nation Businesses as they delivered nearly 500 food items to Zoë Institute. From left to right: Donetta Johnson, coordinator of Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism; Amy Sanders, community relations coordinator for Cherokee Nation Businesses; April Smith, volunteer from 2911 Church; Machia McLemore, Cherokee Casino Tahlequah; Rhonda Clemons-Hill, executive director of the Zoe Institute; Erin Williams, Cherokee Casino Fort Gibson; Christy Evans, volunteer from 2911 Church; Jodi McMullen, volunteer from 2911 Church; Marlane Welch, volunteer from 2911 Church; S. Joe Crittenden, Deputy Principal Chief of Cherokee Nation.

February 29, 2012

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Zoë Institute will be providing more Cherokee County families with meals, thanks to the generosity of Cherokee Nation Businesses and its employees.

 

CNB contributed $20,000 to the Zoë Institute for the Hands of Grace Warehouse, which provides area families with food items. In addition to the financial contribution, employees of CNB and its subsidiaries collected food items for the program.

 

“Cherokee Nation Businesses’ generous contribution will enable Zoë Institute to better serve the needs of Cherokee County through the Hands of Grace Warehouse/Food Bank,” said Rhonda Clemons-Hill, executive director of Zoë Institute. “There are thousands of hungry and hurting families in our area, and this contribution will really help us help them.”

 

Employees from CNB and its subsidiaries, including Cherokee Casino Fort Gibson and Cherokee Casino Tahlequah, collected more than 500 canned food items.

 

“Our employees understand the major impact they are making in the lives of those who are in need,” said Chris Province, general manager of Cherokee Casino Tahlequah. “We are grateful for the opportunity to support Zoë Institute and make a difference in our community.”

 

Zoë Institute’s mission is to improve the quality of life of individuals through education, life skills and humanitarian relief efforts. The Tahlequah nonprofit’s Hands of Grace Warehouse provided more than 10,000 people with three to five days’ worth of food.

 

Cherokee Nation Entertainment is the gaming, entertainment, hospitality, retail and tourism entity of the Cherokee Nation. CNE operates Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa; seven Cherokee Casinos in Roland, Sallisaw, West Siloam Springs, Tahlequah, Fort Gibson, Claremore and Ramona; two Cherokee Outpost convenience stores; six retail tobacco shops; four gift shops; two golf courses; the Cherokee Travel Plaza; and four hotels. CNE employs more than 3,500 people in northeast Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas.

 

 

Zoe's Annual Conference - 2011 We finally had it! After having everything ready for Saturday, February 12th, we had to postpone the conference due to all the snow. If you live around here, you remember how everything was closed day after day. We re-scheduled for April 9th and it turned out to be a beautiful, sunny day! This year we extended our conference to include the men in our women's lives.

 

Our conference this year focused on HOPE! So many people live without hope, thinking that their situations can't change. But God says they can change - and for the better! Two men, Miller and Dan, gave their testimonies how God changed them from lives of drugs, crime, hate, and prison to lives of joy, hope, love, and helping others. Those attending were so attentive, listening to these intense stories, that you could've heard a pin drop. Also speaking were Alecia, Julie, Paula and Eileen. These ladies had difficult lives - drugs, abusive situations, jail time, death of a child, child with disabilities, and financial hardships.

 

The thing all the speakers (and us) craved was acceptance and love. They all looked for it in various ways - but all led to only more problems. It was only when each one cried out to God and allowed Him to change them, giving their desires up and depending on God, that life changed - and drastically!

 

The day was a day of celebration of what God did in these peoples' lives - and what each one of us can have! Of course, we always provide lunch and towards the end of the time we have prizes! And of course this year was no disappointment with the grand prize being a year's supply of gas!! Each person had great hopes of winning that, and we had one VERY happy lady when the winning ticket number was read! We hope each person had a great time, a full belly, and hope for a better life!

 

Wal-Mart Blesses Us!

 

Wal-Mart Foundation recently partnered with Zoe Institute in a project titled "Helping Single Parent Families Achieve Their Dreams." Wal-Mart Foundation provided $25,000 to the grant program that has a strong focus on community, outreach, education, and crisis intervention. "These grant funds are making a tremendous difference in Zoe's ability to serve hurting families. As our area's economic climate has tightened, our service numbers have nearly doubled. The grant funding from Wal-Mart Foundation was such a blessing and we appreciate them very much!" stated Rhonda Clemons, Zoe's Executive Director. The Wal-Mart Foundation strives to provide opportunities that improve the lives of individuals in our communities including our customers and associates. Through financial contributions, in-kind donations and volunteerism, the Wal-Mart Foundation supports initiatives focused on enhancing opportunities in our four focuse areas: Education, Workforce Development/Economic Opportunity, Environmental Sustainability, and Health and Wellness.