HeartLine seeks nominations for those who give back to community

HeartLine is currently seeking nominations of candidates who have chosen to give back to their community outside of their profession and seek to improve the quality of life of Oklahomans.

The general public can nominate potential candidates for the award, which will be presented at this year’s Festival of Hope. A committee that includes former honorees then selects the winners.

Mikie Gillmore, communications coordinator at HeartLine, encourages people to nominate those they believe really have made an impact and have a heart to serve those around them.

“Our mission is to connect Oklahomans to help and hope, and we feel that there are deserving individuals and organizations who do just that through their own acts of service. They deserve recognition for that work,” Gillmore said. “Candidates must also demonstrate that their work provides them no material benefit.”

Age is not a factor in who is honored at this event. Rachel Clapper received the award in 2004, when she was just 17. She brought a suicide prevention initiative to Casady School. She also co-founded the Aikman End Zone Project, which strives to give children with long hospital stays childhood moments their illnesses have taken away.

HeartLine has 24-hour answering services for various helplines, including 2-1-1; 848-CARE; the Oklahoma Problem Gambling Helpline 1-800-522-4700; and two national suicide prevention lines, 1-800-SUICIDE and 1-800-273-TALK.

HeartLine serves over 2.3 million people in Oklahoma through its various programs and services and recorded 200,935 calls for assistance in 2012.

To learn more about HeartLine and nominate potential honorees, visit its website at heartlineoklahoma.org.

Festival of Hope will host its 14th annual evening of honoring and admiration Aug. 28 at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 E. 63rd St.

Since 2002, Festival of Hope’s mission has been to bring awareness to and support HeartLine’s goal of providing crisis intervention services. The event also seeks to honor individuals and organizations who provide hope to their communities.

Last year, the Festival of Hope honored Army Col. Stanley L. Evans, who served 32 years in the military. After retiring from the military, Evans entered the University of Oklahoma College of Law at the age of 52, became the first African-American to hold a dean position at any law school in the state of Oklahoma and served on the Oklahoma Human Rights Commission. In 2013, Evans was chosen as Pro-Bono Person of the Year by the Oklahoma Bar Association.

The event also honors other organizations that serve local communities.  In 2014, Oklahoma Foundation for the Disabled (OKFD) received an award for providing hope and inspiration to thousands of people with disabilities and their families and caregivers. OKFD is the largest provider of adult day-health services for people with severe disabilities in the region.