Blue Sky Bank is sponsoring advertising packages for five reader-selected Oklahoma nonprofits. (Angela Anne Jones)

Drum roll please! Blue Sky Bank sponsored, you nominated and you voted… so here they are: The five Oklahoma-based nonprofits that will receive $1,000 each in free advertising on

  1. Mental Health Association Oklahoma
  2. Pivot, Inc.
  3. Oklahoma CASA
  4. ALS Association Oklahoma
  5. Positive Tomorrows

We want to high five each and every one of you for nominating and then coming back to vote. It always helps the whole when we help each other, so we are excited to partner with Blue Sky Bank and give back to our community.

Look for the following nonprofits’ advertisements on NonDoc in the coming weeks.

Let’s meet our winners

‘Promoting mental health through housing, advocacy and service’

The Mental Health Association Oklahoma‘s statewide work is dedicated to promoting mental health and the equity of access to mental health care through advocacy, education, research, service and housing.

Their work includes housing, mental health education, support groups, pro-bono counseling, mental health screening and referral, suicide prevention, peer-to-peer recovery services, employment readiness, community health and wellness initiatives, and criminal justice advocacy.

The association’s housing program utilizes a “housing first” model that provides immediate access to safe, decent, and affordable housing for individuals who have experienced mental illness, homelessness and substance use.

‘A turning point for youth’

Pivot offers support and resources through its food pantry and clothing closets, as well as short and long-term housing solutions.

At Pivot, part of each young person’s experience includes the opportunity to graduate from high school, further their education, gain vital life skills and achieve job readiness.

By addressing basic needs and housing stability, education and employment and providing therapeutic care — true prevention and intervention can happen.

Young people who visit Pivot have access to resources and services that address their physical, emotional, spiritual and mental health needs. Pivot can also help with depression, poor nutrition, high risk behaviors, substance abuse, anxiety, unlawful actions and grief.

‘Lift up a child’s voice. Every child has rights. We fight for them’

Oklahoma Court Appointed Special Advocates and its 23 local members of the Oklahoma CASA network work to support any child who needs an advocate to speak for his or her best interests before the courts. Caring, trained adults help these children through this difficult period of their lives.

The mission of the Oklahoma CASA Association is to present a statewide voice for abused and neglected children by enhancing the growth and sustainability of CASA programs throughout Oklahoma.

CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to watch over and speak up for abused and neglected children to make sure they don’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social service systems or languish in the foster care system. CASA volunteers stay with each child until he or she is placed in a safe, permanent home and the case is closed. For many abused children, their CASA volunteer is the one constant in their lives and often, the one adult who cares only for them.

‘…empowering the diagnosed and their families with compassionate care and support’

The mission of ALS Oklahoma is to discover treatments and a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and to serve, advocate for and empower people affected by ALS to live their lives to the fullest.

Receiving a diagnosis of ALS is challenging and overwhelming. While no two people with ALS will experience the condition exactly the same way, there is a great deal of collective knowledge as well as valuable resources available.

ALS Oklahoma offers assistance for diagnosed persons and their families, as well as caregivers and health care professionals throughout Oklahoma. They also loan durable medical equipment to those diagnosed with ALS without a source to pay for the equipment.

Their “Meet and Greet Educational Support and Connection Program” provides educational opportunities through organized community events for local healthcare practitioners in non-metropolitan areas.

‘Educating homeless children and their families to break the cycle of poverty’

Positive Tomorrows is Oklahoma’s only elementary school committed specifically to homeless children. The school attempts to clear a path for its students by removing hurdles they face in developing academically and socially. For most, those hurdles come in three forms.

The first is transportation. Positive Tomorrows students know they can call in with their location, and a bus driver will come get them. For families with limited access to transportation, just getting a child to school can feel like an insurmountable challenge.

Second, hunger. Each student qualifies for free meals. Making sure those meals are nutritious and filling helps the students focus their energies on learning, not on worrying about whether they’ll get to eat.

And finally, basic needs. Many homeless children don’t have tennis shoes for gym class, for example. This lack of basic necessities can create worry and anxiety for students, leaving them with little energy to give to their education. They clear that hurdle by keeping a supply of those basic needs at the ready.

A bit about the sponsor, Blue Sky Bank

Blue Sky Bank was originally chartered in Osage County, Oklahoma, in 1905 as the Bank of Commerce in Pawhuska. Over the next 110-plus years, it has grown and changed names, being known as the National Bank of Commerce, NBC Bank and, most recently, Citizens Bank of Oklahoma. Although the name has changed over time, Blue Sky Bank is and has always been Oklahoma owned.

While maintaining its roots in Pawhuska, the bank grew first to midtown Tulsa in 2004 and then expanded into Cleveland, Oklahoma, in 2014.

Recognizing its strong niche in commercial lending and community banking, and after gaining recognition for being a bank with infinite possibilities and creative solutions for its customers, Citizens Bank was renamed Blue Sky Bank on Nov. 1, 2016.