A local addiction recovery center has gotten a significant boost to its fundraising campaign, receiving a $700,000 donation from one of its most ardent supporters.
The gift from Bama Cos. Inc., a Tulsa-based producer of baked goods, to 12&12 Inc. was announced Wednesday by Bryan Day, CEO of the nonprofit agency.
The Bama contribution pushes 12&12’s $8.7 million Transforming Recovery campaign over the $5 million mark, Day said during a news conference at the organization’s midtown recovery facility at 6333 E. Skelly Drive.
The money raised will help fund major interior and exterior renovations at the main facility on Skelly.
The nonprofit, which started in 1985 as a downtown halfway house, purchased the former Sheraton Hotel in 1993 and moved into the approximately 170,000-square-foot treatment center the following year.
“We’re a little less than a year into the campaign and doing very, very well,” Day said. “The community is responding, and we’re grateful for that.”
The upgrades will accommodate numerous program-specific needs, such as a 30-bed expansion for insured and self-pay clients, he said. Other projects include a sobering center and an outpatient addiction clinic.
“Addiction is a growing epidemic emergency-type situation,” Day said. “This gift enables 12&12 to stay current. We’ll use every dollar in this location to ensure that we’re here for another 30 years.”
Bama Cos. CEO Paula Marshall said she chose to make the donation because of the “vital need” 12&12 serves in the community. Marshall, a supporter of the organization for more than 15 years, played a significant role in one of its former capital campaigns.
She said she has been disheartened to see the number of treatment facilities in Oklahoma plummet while the prison population skyrockets.
“Building prisons is not the answer. That’s my philosophy,” she said. “The answer is to help people early. I think we need to have even more treatment available for 13- and 14-year-old kids so that we can help them avoid the cycle of taking the pills, stealing from people, going to jail and then repeating the cycle. It’s not a good system.”
The best way to lessen the state’s drug epidemic, Marshall said, is to help people get off what they are addicted to and connect them with job opportunities that allow them to become productive members of society.
“We need to help them be able to purchase things and buy cars and rent apartments and not be a drain on our society,” she said. “It’s just really, really important that we put money into rehabilitation and treatment.”
Original Tulsa World Article can be found by clicking here.