The Seeds of Hope fundraiser helps provide mentoring to metro students.
Seeds of Hope
6:30 p.m. tuesday
national cowboy &
Western Heritage Museum
1700 N.E. 63rd
Collins Tuohy, the adoptive sister of "The Blind Side"'s subject Michael Oher, will be the featured speaker at Tuesday's annual Seeds of Hope fundraiser to provide literacy, tutoring and mentoring services to metro students from first through eighth grade.
It is sponsored by City Care's Whiz Kids program, a faith-based, nonprofit organization comprised of metro churches that bridge denominational lines to provide services to at-risk students. It started in 1996.
Shannon Davis, a spokesperson for Whiz Kids, said Tuohy will be the first speaker at the event, and will discuss her personal experience with mentoring; specifically, how it changed the life of Oher.
Tuohy said that the one-on-one system was "100 percent effective" with her brother.
"We sometimes forget how much time and attention these kids need," she said. "And sometimes it's just a matter of them wanting attention; they want one-on-one attention."
In addition to Tuohy, Barry Switzer, Steve Owens and KWTV News 9's Ed Murray will participate. Davis said Murray will serve as emcee, while Switzer will close the evening with his personal story of the impact of mentoring.
"We are absolutely thrilled to have guests who will be sharing their personal experiences of how mentoring makes a difference in the life of a child," Davis said. "This is exactly the service Whiz Kids provides by mentoring every week to students in the Oklahoma City area."
Tuohy said she encourages people to get involved in these volunteer opportunities because they can make a real difference.
"I tell them to get off their butts, get out of their knitting club, and forego one round of golf to help someone else," she said. "You don't have to raise $100,000 or start a foundation. Just help someone. Helping one person a week can make the world a better place."
Whiz Kids is built with one-on-one volunteers who meet with students weekly in Oklahoma City's highest at-risk areas, where drop-out rates are highest and socioeconomic levels are lowest.
Tuohy said she will address the audience about reaching across racial and socioeconomic lines.
"I'm going to talk about the power of one," she said, "because mentoring one-on-one is critically important. I'll talk about how we need to turn around and get to know that person you just walked past, and how we have to learn to value people differently."
Photo: Collins Tuohy