Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday: South Oak Gives Back

Nov 30, 2021 Team South Oak Share:

At South Oak, service is one of our key values.

We’re dedicated to serving our customers, and our mission is to invest in our people and to invest in others. Dawn Braddock, our Chief Operating Officer, says, “A key part of our culture is surrounding our employees with support and love so that they can provide for their families and their needs. But another essential part of that is to turn around and give to others, as individuals and as an organization, in our communities.”

The leadership at each of our offices prioritizes giving back to the communities where they are. For Giving Tuesday, we’re featuring four offices’ favorite organizations and ministries to support.

Serving our local communities

Each of our thirteen offices has a different personality and operates within unique communities. While we all share the same core values, the passions at each office are different. As a result, each office has the flexibility to support what matters to them. Dawn Braddock says, “Often, someone in a particular office will be really passionate about an organization and the others who work in that office will rally around that cause.”

Offices will often choose to support one or two key organizations all year round, but there are also other organic opportunities to serve that arise throughout the year. Recent initiatives in the main Birmingham office include a food drive for a local food bank, an office-wide collection of like-new clothing donations for the Lovelady Center, and donating toys for Giving Hope.

Our offices also love to support community initiatives. Several offices regularly participate in school supply drives, and we also participate in a backpack program that ensures that needy families have food on weekends and on school breaks. And when we can, we love to include our clients in our giving. Recently, we ran a friendly competition on social media during the World Series to raise money for Vestavia Hills Miracle League and Over the Mountain Miracle League.

Dawn Braddock also shared how South Oak loves to support our clients. “We’ll support charitable agent events, such as the annual Keller Williams RED Day. And one of our loan officers is a part of the local VA, so we love to support them through donations, sponsorships, and volunteer work.” Veterans who close at South Oak also get a discount on their closing costs.

Many employees also give a lot of their own time to causes that matter to them. And while we haven’t figured out a way to close an entire office down for the day to serve, we love to support employee service activities. Braddock says, “We’re always willing to grant time off so that an employee can volunteer!”

Organizations supported by South Oak

We want to spotlight just a few of the organizations our offices love to support all year round. We’d love it if you’d consider giving to one of these worthy organizations as well.

South Oak Birmingham: Trafficking Hope

Trafficking Hope is an organization dedicated to, “stopping sex trafficking across the nation by funding survivor services and supporting local churches and organizations in their fight.” Trafficking Hope utilizes the CARES response to respond to this multifaceted problem. This response includes:

  • The cooperation of a coalition of partners such as churches, local government groups, healthcare providers, immigration organizations, and other non-profits.
  • Work to raise community awareness of human trafficking through media awareness campaigns, community events, and small group work so that people are better able to see and report signs of trafficking.
  • Support for law enforcement officials as they work to rescue trafficking victims.
  • Education and training within organizations that may encounter victims, so that these organizations are better equipped to prevent trafficking and intervene when a potential victim is identified.
  • Victim services to support survivors physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Locally, Trafficking Hope partners with existing organizations such as the Well House to support survivors. Dawn Braddock says, “Our office began to rally around Trafficking Hope after hearing more and more stories of local survivors. People don’t realize how often sex trafficking happens in our own backyard.” The Birmingham office loves to provide financial support for the complex and important work of Trafficking Hope.

For more information about the work of Trafficking Hope, contact the organization or visit their website to subscribe to their weekly newsletter. If you’d like to donate directly to the work of Trafficking Hope, visit their secure donor portal.

Donate to Trafficking Hope

South Oak Huntsville: Kids to Love

Kids to Love is a Huntsville-based organization that works to meet the needs of foster children and to find forever families for children waiting for adoption. This organization, founded in 2004, has impacted over 225,000 foster children. Kids to Love has several initiatives to support children in care, including:

  • Finding forever families for children in care
  • Recruiting, training, and supporting foster families
  • Camp Hope, a camp experience designed to reunite siblings who are separated in foster care
  • Davidson Farms home for girls
  • Christmas wishlists
  • Emergency assistance for when a child is placed in foster care
  • School supply drives and Bible drives
  • Scholarships
  • KTECH job training and technical certification

Marcia St. Louis, Managing Attorney at South Oak Huntsville, says, “I’ve always loved and supported the work of Kids to Love. There is so much need out there, and while Kids to Love can’t replace parents, they’re doing so much to give these children a decent start to make the best of their circumstances and the opportunity to thrive as adults.”

For more information about the work of Kids to Love, visit their website. If you’d like to donate to the work of Kids to Love, visit their secure donation page. Or if you’d like to shop directly for a Christmas gift from one of 1,700 Christmas lists for foster children in South Tennessee and North Alabama, visit the Kids to Love Amazon wishlist.

Donate to Kids to Love

South Oak Pelham: Manna Ministries

Manna Ministries is an Alabaster-based organization that feeds over 800 families in Jefferson, Shelby, and Chilton County each month. It is run entirely by the work of volunteers. Manna Ministries provides food for families through donations from local grocery store vendors, as well as through food donations from the community. Any money donated to the organization goes directly toward providing food for the families they serve.

Sandy Johnson, Attorney and Partner at South Oak Pelham, says, “We love that Manna Ministries supports local families with no questions asked. At Manna Ministries, they provide for a basic need while also sharing the gospel. Families can use the service if they’ve fallen on hard times and need extra help with groceries on a short-term basis, or they can use the service on a continual basis if it’s needed.” South Oak Pelham loves to support Manna Ministries through food drives, event sponsorships, cash donations, and volunteering.

If you’re local to Shelby County, Manna Ministries is always looking for volunteers and donations of nonperishable food. For more information about volunteer opportunities, call 205-953-5001 for more information. Or you can donate directly to the work of Manna Ministries by visiting their website.

Donate to Manna Ministries

South Oak Trussville: The Troy Ellis Foundation

The Troy Ellis Foundation was founded after Troy Justice Ellis lost his life at 11-years-old while hunting. According to the Troy Ellis Foundation website, the foundation “Seeks to put God’s LOVE into ACTION… striving to be a force of inspiration and hope within our communities.” Troy loved sports and the outdoors, so his foundation seeks to support young athletes in the Trussville community by lessening the cost of participation for the community and for parents while bettering athletic facilities, programs, and equipment.

Shami Malone, Partner and Closing Attorney at South Oak Trussville says, “We have a personal connection to this organization since Troy was actually my youngest son’s best friend. Supporting this organization honors his memory.” South Oak Trussville is an official sponsor of the Troy Ellis Baseball Tournament, and South Oak team members volunteer at foundation events.

To learn more about the Troy Ellis Foundation, visit their website or contact the foundation. You can also donate directly to the Troy Ellis Foundation using their Paypal donation portal.

Donate to the Troy Ellis Foundation

This holiday season, all of us at South Oak hope that you’ll consider ways you can give back to your own community.