“I’m checking you in Connie,” and I looked over as my supervisor Natalie was logging me in and updating my status on Facebook/Foursquare.  I cackled to myself knowing that my Facebook status would inform my friends that I was attending a meeting with the OKC Thunder; jealous reactions would surely follow.

Entering the OKC Thunder offices I had no idea what to expect, so naturally I made up a scenario in my mind.  Perhaps I would see a board room populated by serious faces and even more serious suits.  Or maybe the meeting would be held on a basketball court at the 3-point line with Rumble reading off the agenda, assuming he even speaks at all.  Blame it on my overactive imagination for making up such ridiculous ideas.

So on to the meatier stuff, the actual meeting.  We were there to sort out the details for upcoming events for food drives and volunteer events, which at a time like this, is much needed given the fact that the Regional Food Bank is now sorting and packing an additional 4.2 million pounds of food to be shipped out by the end of September.  The Food Bank values its partnerships and it is due to the organization’s ability to cultivate relationships with other businesses that has allowed it to survive for 30 years.  Indeed, no man is an island could be our internal organizational mantra, if we even had such a thing.

Community partnerships are something that shouldn’t be taken for granted.  Even I didn’t realize how much the Food Bank relied on its connections with other community developers until during the meeting.  Actually I didn’t even realize the Thunder had a community relations department, hence the need for me to hope that our meeting would be lead by a man in a bison outfit.

After the meeting, I realized how much working with the community leaders like the Thunder can help bring attention to the issue of hunger – an issue that’s often invisible.  It’s important to have community leaders who are passionate and supportive of a cause. They can communicate to a potentially new audience and help foster the passion for cause that’s so fundamental to an organization like the Food Bank.

Even though we never set foot on the 3-point line, and Rumble didn’t show up to the meeting, it was a great experience.  Getting the chance to go behind the scenes and see how everything works beyond what we see on the court is a rare opportunity, and it’s been one of the many benefits I’ve enjoyed during my internship so far.  Most importantly, I was able to meet another group of hard working individuals who were dedicated to the fight against hunger.

Connie Lam

Connie Lam

Connie Lam is the Marketing Intern at the Regional Food Bank. She recently graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Advertising.
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The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s childhood and senior hunger programs received a 12,500 pound donation of almonds from GiveBack2God, an international hunger-relief nonprofit co-founded by Oklahoma City Thunder Coach Scott Brooks.

thunder_coach

Brooks and friend Mike Kooyma grew up in an almond-growing community in Lathrop, Calif. and worked together in the almond orchards in high school. The two were well aware of the nutritional value of the nutrient-rich snacks, which provide a good source of both vitamin E and protein; in 2009, the two co-founded GiveBack2God in an effort to fill the nutritional void that exists for many families struggling with hunger. GiveBack2God provides individual servings of healthy, nutritious almonds from Kooyma’s almond orchard to food banks and disaster-relief organizations around the world.

Big thank you to Scott Brooks as he continues his battle with the LA Lakers in the NBA finals!

Thunder Beat LA

Natalie Wright

Natalie Wright

Natalie Wright is the Marketing Coordinator at the Regional Food Bank. Natalie manages social media for the organization. Connect with her on Twitter (@rfbo) and Facebook!
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