Where the heart is: When charities got hit by COVID, one OKC building company stepped up

·2 min read

Home is where the heart is, they say, and homes are where the hearts are for Oklahoma City builder Homes By Taber.

Charity fundraising has taken a hit because of the coronavirus, and Homes By Taber, owned by Taber LeBlanc, is lending a hand again — all year, again — with $400 in donations for every home it sells, plus volunteer time donated by its 130 employees.

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Giving is an ongoing concern for the company, which expanded its charity initiative Taber Cares last year to help nonprofits make it through the pandemic. Taber donated a total of $395,600 to several organizations, two different ones each month.

"This is the community caring for the community. And we couldn't do it without partners like (Homes By Taber)," said Holly Towers, executive director of Lilyfield, which helps children and families involved with the child welfare system.

Frankie Lewis and Joel Filomeno, with Homes By Taber, volunteer at Infant Crisis Services.
Frankie Lewis and Joel Filomeno, with Homes By Taber, volunteer at Infant Crisis Services.

Lilyfield used the $24,000 donation it received in March to expand daytime programming to provide a safe place for children for virtual learning.

Others gave grateful feedback, as well.

Calm Waters, a center for family grief support, was one of two organizations that received $13,200 in April, echoes difficulties throughout the pandemic.

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"The last two years have been really hard on our community and at Calm Waters, we felt the effects of that. In fact, the need for our services has more than doubled," said Erin Engelke, executive director. "This donation from Homes by Taber will support 378 children who have lost a parent, a sibling, or their families have been torn apart because of divorce."

Heart and Home Makeovers, which provides free home makeovers to distressed families, was one of the two to receive $19,400 in May.

"COVID was really hard for our organization. We're a small, local non-profit. To be able to help even more families is such a gift," founder Deidra Livingood said.

Homes By Taber is doing good by others. Nonprofits scheduled to receive donations in 2022 are:

Senior Business Writer Richard Mize has covered housing, construction, commercial real estate, and related topics for the newspaper and Oklahoman.com since 1999. Contact him at rmize@oklahoman.com.

This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: OKC homebuilder Homes By Taber gives to nonprofits hit by COVID

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