Oct. 14—For nearly a quarter of a century, Shared Blessings has bestowed its blessings on McAlester-area residents — including individuals, families, students, schools and groups.
Beginning next weekend, the non-profit is holding more than a week-long series of events called Shared Blessings Week, from Oct. 22 through Oct. 29. It's designed to reach out to the community and spotlight what has already been accomplished through Shared Blessings, along with hopes for the future.
"We love to talk about our past and everything that's happened in the past 24 years," said Shared Blessings Executive Director Scott Walker. "We wanted to do something that will allow the community to connect with Shared Blessings."
From its headquarters at 1558 S. Main St., Shared Blessings has branched out to offer assistance and solutions to McAlester, Pittsburg County and beyond.
Walker is quick to point out that much of what Shared Blessings has achieved has been because of community support — from churches, businesses, groups, civic clubs, individuals and from working in tandem with other programs.
"I think one of the things we're trying to highlight is how these programs are working together to bring a greater level of help and hope," Walker said.
Shared Blessings Week's schedule covers eight days and that's not counting the online auction set to begin Monday, Oct. 17, a week before the Oct. 22 start date.
Shared Blessings' online auction kicks off Monday on the Non-profit's website at sharedblessings.tv., Walker said. A number of items and gift packages will be on display. Participants can register online and bid on the items they want. Walker said once someone bids on a particular item, the bidder can be contacted by email if another bid comes in higher. Walker said the online auction will end at 6 p.m. on Oct. 29.
The non-profit hopes to achieve several things through Shared Blessings Week.
"It's a week of awareness, on how poverty impacts peoples' lives," Walker said. "It's also a week to celebrate the generosity of the community and it's a week to come together and change lives."
Activities during Shared Blessings week include a variety of events with more details to be added as they near, including:
—Saturday, Oct. 23 — A community block party is set from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. at McAlester's Chadick Park, the 10.2 acre park at S. Third Street and Chadick Avenue. It includes games, inflatables, free food and a chili contest with teams from schools competing for the chili cooking championship.
The block party includes the kick-off for a scavenger hunt called the Everywhere Together Expedition.
—Sunday, Oct. 23 — Facebook Live Giveaway at 8 p.m.
—Monday, Oct. 24 — Hope House Open House, from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. at 1210 E. Cherokee Ave. The homeless shelter and ministry for women and their children is currently under expansion. Refreshments will be provided at the come-and-go event.
—Tuesday, Oct. 25 — Shared Blessings open house from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m., at 1558 S. Main St. Oct. 25 also includes morning coffee at Harbor Mountain from 7:30 a.m. until 9 a.m.; a radio takeover from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m., with Shared Blessings' Joey Clark taking over as dee jay on Rock 105.1 and a presentation at the McAlester Rotary Club at noon. The Shared Blessing open house is also a come-and-go event, with refreshments.
—Wednesday, Oct. 26 — Habitat for Humanity open house, at 322 W. Cherokee, where a new home is under construction.
—Thursday, Oct. 27 — The Blue Door Flea Market at Shared Blessings will be open from 9 a.m. until noon. A Chamber Connect event at Angels is set for 4 p.m., followed by Trivia Night at Spaceship Earth at 7 p.m.
—Friday, Oct. 28 — The Bin Store at 1212 S. Main St. opens at 8 a.m. Starting at 5 p.m., there will be an activity at BierKraft, at 925 E. Washington Ave., to celebrate the release of a new German ale called Everywhere Together, with proceeds to benefit Shared Blessings.
—Saturday, Oct. 29 — An event at McAlester Crossfit's WOD is set for 10 a.m., with a concluding event at Freedom Ford, to be announced.
Contact James Beaty at firstname.lastname@example.org.