Tulsa, Oklahoma, January 23, 2017 (Newswire.com) - The Margaret Hudson Program (MHP) provides wraparound supportive services to help pregnant and parenting teen girls graduate from high school and raise healthy families. Our local nonprofit (501c3) organization (EIN: 730793181) helps pregnant teen girls achieve healthy pregnancies, deliver healthy babies and learn the skills needed to be a capable parent. At our two schools in Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, we serve approximately 140 teen girls each year. We have served more than 10,000 multicultural teen moms since our founding in 1968.
Last August, MHP received the unexpected news that we would no longer receive annual Tulsa Area United Way funding. In calendar year 2016, we received $385,000 of United Way funding to help support our health, counseling, childcare and health case management services. The United Way said the reason for eliminating our funding support was based on an expectation that its partner organizations should not overly rely on United Way funding. In addition to MHP, the United Way eliminated also annual funding of the Oklahoma Visiting Nurses Association. Over the past few years, MHP has reduced the share of our annual budget funded by the United Way down to 18 percent of total fiscal budget.
An invitation to learn about Margaret Hudson Program and its urgent campaign to secure annual operations funding to meet the needs of pregnant and parenting teen girls will be held Monday, January 23 at 9:30 am at the Margaret Hudson Program at Franklin School, 1136 South Allegheny Ave., Tulsa.
Betina Tillman, MHP Executive Director
In addition to coping with the loss of the United Way funding, MHP is also grappling with the impact of state budget cuts made last year, which resulted in the loss of $385,990 of annual Oklahoma Early Childhood Program (OECP) funding from the Department of Education.
In response to the combined loss of the United Way and OECP funding, the MHP Board of Directors implemented a set of immediate cost-saving measures. The loss of the OECP funding required us to cut the capacity of our childcare program – we are now only able to serve 14 infants and toddlers per day at our Broken Arrow campus. We have restructured our student counseling program and now use two community mental health contractors, eliminating three former counselor positions. We have also made significant cutbacks to our administrative staffing levels.
To close the fiscal year in the “black,” MHP needs to secure a total of $411,919 in donations, fundraising and philanthropic support. The current annual budget totals $1.8 million, down from $2.4 million last year. Through our partnerships with Tulsa and Broken Arrow Public Schools, MHP receives annual educational staff support valued at $641,195 on an in-kind, no cost basis.
MHP operates with a diverse set of funding sources that include government grants and contracts, individual, business and faith contributors, and philanthropic support. If the Margaret Hudson Program is unable to raise sufficient funds to operate without a deficit, it will be forced to make further cuts in program services and reductions in staffing.
A major fundraising effort is currently underway to increase the amount of annual charitable donations received by the Margaret Hudson Program. Multiple fundraising strategies are being pursued, including public awareness and fundraising events, an annual pledge campaign and a “Margaret Hudson Teen Moms Fund” GoFundMe account. Our GoFundMe goal of $200,000 will make up the difference for the funds cut from our budget by the United Way in our current fiscal year. We urge individuals, businesses, civic and faith organizations, and philanthropists to contribute to the Margaret Hudson Program to help ensure Tulsa area pregnant and parenting teen girls get the care and education they need and deserve. Our donors make a life-changing difference for generations to come.
Source: Margaret Hudson Program