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Midland Living Magazine

Character & Generosity | A Powerful Combination

written by christi callicoatte | photos provided by acs, pink the basin & centers

Generosity - jenəˈräsədē
1: a willingness to give or to share
2: an act of unselfish giving 

Character - kerəktər
1: a set of qualities that are shared by many people in a group
2: a set of qualities that make a place or thing different from other places or things


ROUND UP


Planning

The Permian Basin has often been recognized for its people. People of strong, steady, sometimes rough, and always-willing-to-lend-a-hand character. Character that expands in times of need. Character that resurfaces in the toughest of times. Character that gives when it is needed most.




“It was amazing that so many of our sponsors kept their donations in place even though we could not hold our event.” 

- Leslie Kitto -Senior manager, south region at American Cancer Society



Our world and our way of life has changed, most likely forever, as a result of the pandemic, but the Permian Basin is experiencing something else. Something that the rest of the world is not experiencing. Our oil economy has had a history of ups and downs, something that anyone who has lived here long enough has endured more than once. That is where the character and generosity of our region comes in.

  
Nonprofits, corporations and small businesses are all trying to find their way, but rather than focusing on the negative hand they have been dealt, each are finding ways to serve their customers, clients, and community in new, innovative ways.


The generosity that has been displayed in the Permian Basin over the last few months is nothing short of phenomenal. Events have been cancelled and doors have been closed. These event cancellations may look like a missed opportunity to some, but to the nonprofit organization who is losing the vast majority of their revenue in one night, an event cancelation can be devasting. And for the donors of these organizations who have been hit so hard, the generosity has been overwhelming. 

When the American Cancer Society (ACS) made the difficult decision to cancel Round Up, its largest fundraiser, the organization did not know what to expect. “There is no playbook for these unprecedented times,” said Leslie Kitto, senior manager, distinguished events, south region at American Cancer Society. “It was amazing that so many of our sponsors kept their donations in place even though we could not hold our event.”


 

“It was amazing that so many of our sponsors kept their donations in place even though we could not hold our event.” 

- Leslie Kitto -Senior manager, south region at American Cancer Society


Round Up has been raising money for the American Cancer Society in the Permian Basin for 37 years. In addition to research, education, and prevention efforts, the American Cancer Society also provides programs and services to help guide patients and their families through their cancer experience.


“Now we are focused on how we continue these services to our community, and the support of our donors is more important now than ever,” said Kitto.


While some organizations were forced to cancel spring and summer events for the safety of the community, others are hopeful that they will be able host their events in the fall. 



PINK THE BASIN 

Pink the Basin executive director Valerie Longoria said the donations they are receiving right now, “give us hope, provide a sense of security, and most importantly speak to the faith a donor has in our mission, by entrusting us to make the best use of their funds at a time of great uncertainty.”



 

Pink the Basin is hoping to host their event in October to raise funds so that every woman in the Permian Basin has access to a mammogram regardless of their ability to pay. 
 
Giving

The needs of the Permian Basin have only increased over the past few months. As the largest nonprofit, non-governmental hunger relief organization in the Permian Basin, the West Texas Food Bank distributes donated and purchased food to children, families and seniors across 34,000 square miles of Texas.



 “Donations we are receiving right now give us hope, provide a sense of security, and most importantly speak to the faith a donor has in our mission, by entrusting us to make the best use of their funds at a time of great uncertainty.”

 - Valerie Longoria- Pink the Basin executive director



WEST TEXAS FOOD BANK

“We have entered an uncertain time, but we are secure in the knowledge that our supporters are behind us,” said Libby Campbell, executive director at the West Texas Food Bank. “The support we have received is crucial in a time where the food bank is having to spend extraordinary amounts of money to purchase food. I am forever grateful for their support.”



 

Chevron, Concho, and ExxonMobil all came to the table to support hunger relief in the Midland-Odessa area and across West Texas with $100,000 donations each, to help those facing difficult economic circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Shell also donated $80,000 to the effort, not to mention the countless others. 




“We have entered an uncertain time, but we are secure in the knowledge that our supporters are behind us.” 

-Libby Campbell- West Texas Food Bank executive director 



ADAPTING 


Organizations are looking for new and different ways to provide much needed services to our community. The therapists and staff at Centers for Children and Families have been dedicated to providing quality and affordable mental health care to our community for over 50 years. During the pandemic they began offering remote therapy sessions via phone or video.



 


“Our donors and foundations have trusted us to provide quality, affordable mental health care for years.  During this time, they have gone above and beyond our tried and true. As we had to become more creative in our delivery of therapeutic services, the funders responded to our immediate and longer-term needs,” said Centers CEO Kristi Edwards.  “Our clients were able to continue sessions through telehealth and for those who have lost jobs and or insurance, their funding has allowed us to offer much needed services at a greatly reduced charge or in some cases...free of charge.” 


Centers Solutions podcast is now broadcasting a COVID edition, which serves to provide a resource for people searching for tools to help navigate through specific issues that arise from the current chapter facing the Permian Basin. KMID-TV will be hosting a “Centers Solutions-COVID EDITION” segment each Thursday as well. “We want to coach people through the crisis and remind everyone that mental health is something we all need to care about,” said Edwards.






“Our donors and foundations have trusted us to provide quality, affordable mental health care for years.  During this time, they have gone above and beyond our tried and true.”   

 -Kristi Edwards- Centers for Children and Families CEO




HAND SANITIZER DONATION


Repurposing


ExxonMobil reconfigured manufacturing operations to produce, blend, package and distribute the medical grade hand sanitizer for donation to relief efforts in six states, including right here in the Permian Basin to various emergency response agencies. In addition, they have increased production of isopropyl alcohol, a key ingredient in hand sanitizer. This increase would be equivalent to a monthly production of up to 50 million 4-ounce bottles of sanitizer. The company also increased its capability to manufacture specialized polypropylene, used in medical masks and gowns, by about 1,000 ton per month, which is enough to enable production of up to 200 million medical masks or 20 million gowns.



The American Cancer Society would like to sincerely thank all of our donors and sponsors for their support, now more than ever. And a special thank you to the sponsors and underwriters who have generously given to our 2020 Round Up event, even in light of cancellation. Words cannot express our gratitude.


Generosity is a mind set and the mindset in the Permian Basin has always been one of survival and determination. Our community is giving back of their resources in ways that are truly remarkable. The time, talents and donations that are taking place at a time when it seems impossible to give, prove that the exemplary character of our community is alive and well, and even thriving. †


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