In 1978, members of the Trinity Episcopal Church in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma, decided to make a sandwich for a homeless man they noticed lingering outside of their Sunday Bible Class.
From then, Iron Gate was born. Making a sandwich for a single homeless person turned into an entire 501(c) organization whose sole purpose now is to feed the hungry, tired, and underprivileged patrons of Tulsa seven days a week, 365 days a year, no questions asked.
Iron Gate volunteers feed people in three ways: Soup Kitchen, Grocery Pantry, and Kids Pantry.
Throughout the months of May and June, QPSE gathered non-perishable items for the Iron Gate Kids Pantry, creating Kid’s Packs with healthy snacks for children who do not have the means to have a healthy meal of their own. Spearheaded by Laura Wimer, QPSE was able to gather over 300 Kid’s Packs (over 200 more than our original goal), along with a $195 cash donation, which we then donated to the Iron Gate Cause.
On January 17, 2019, QPSE women engineers and drafters hosted an Engineering Night for a local Girl Scout troop who were in pursuit of obtaining their Engineering Badge.
In order to achieve it, they needed to visit with an engineering firm and complete an engineering activity. QPSE held a Q&A session, complete with an engineering presentation and activity for the girls.
Ranging in ages 8-10, the girls were given a tour of the QPSE offices and shown our 3D model displays. They also learned about the different engineering disciplines and what our engineers do on a daily basis.
QPSE shared a presentation with the troop describing the importance of being a woman engineer in the industry, encouraging the girls to follow their dreams. Once the presentation was complete, it was time for the activity: engineering a balloon-powered car to move. The activity was a great success, the Girl Scout troop left with a brand-new engineering badge they could call their own, and both the QPSE Cares team and the troop left feeling content and accomplished.
How can you learn more about engineering opportunities for children?
Established in 1979, A New Leaf was created to provide horticultural-related job training to adults with developmental disabilities.
Today, A New Leaf serves 325 individuals through employment in five greenhouses, two retail centers, community job sites, students in the classroom, and individuals in residences.
QPSE became a corporate sponsor of A New Leaf in 2016 because we felt truly inspired by this organization. As a corporate sponsor, we donate funds for a corporate share of their Blooming Acres Farm located nearby in Broken Arrow, OK. These crops are donated to the Local Food Bank. Blooming Acres had a great end to their summer this year by growing 2,868 pounds of nutritious produce, which 648 of those pounds were donated to area food banks and partnering organizations. Partially through the sponsorship QPSE provides, Blooming Acres is able to become part of a greater solution, which is to help end food insecurity and hunger in the local community.
Over the past couple of years, our QPSE headquarters has hosted several fall and spring plant Sales for A New Leaf. By hosting these sales in our lobby, not only do QPSE employees get to enjoy these plant sales, but so do other tenants in the building complex. The hard work these individuals put into their flower and plant arrangements truly is incredible.
Recently, A New Leaf held their annual Christmas Poinsettia sale.It really adds to the holiday spirit to walk around and see the lovely poinsettias dotting the QPSE office and reminding us that community efforts matter.
QPSE Cares is a group dedicated to improving the communities where we live and operate.
One of the community programs we support is Partners in Education (PIE), a local non-profit organization that focuses on aiding Tulsa Public Schools with their everyday needs. This includes support by providing Tulsa Public Schools with financial and volunteering efforts. Skelly Upper Elementary is one of the three local schools that QPSE sponsors through PIE, and it is conveniently located just around the corner from QPSE’s headquarters.
On November 13, 2018, Skelly Elementary reached out to us personally asking if we could send over engineering volunteers to help in their first ever Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Night where students and families alike can come in, have snacks, and participate in fun, challenging, and exciting STEM-related activities in a “non-formal environment.” Five QPSE engineers volunteered for the event and assisted with several activities: Bridge Building, Catapult Building, Art Bot, Marble Maze, Science Experiments using bath bombs, and even computer coding!
It was reported that the Bridge Building activity seemed to have the highest turnout from the students – maybe because candy was involved! Students and volunteers were given supplies, such as tongue depressors, ten pipe cleaners, and as many cotton swabs it took to span a “river” of 4-6 inches that must suspend over a 1-inch surface in order to hold as many candy pumpkins as possible.
The general takeaway of the event was delight in helping children learn to think outside the box and their comfort zones in order to make something work in the name of Science. It’s always a positive experience working with children who are actively engaging themselves in challenging activities, learning, and trying new things. It was a positive and fun night, and QPSE can’t wait to be invited to more activities like this in the near future.