Valley View Foundation: Updates and New Application Process

Not only does the Valley View Foundation, have a new name but we have a new grant application process and webpage!

You can visit our new webpage at:

To submit your online grant application for the Valley View Foundation Please visit: 

Application Deadlines:

December 1, 2017

March 1, 2018
June 1, 2018
September 1, 2018

For any questions please contact Will Merrick at 405-755-5571 or 405-820-3817 or


From My Perspective: Excess

Excess - an amount of something that is more than necessary, permitted, or desirable.

Recently I read the book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It had me asking myself new questions as I rummaged through my mounds of clothes, over my packed linen closet and treasured keepsake and memory items I shoved into my hall table. The greatest piece of advice was to ask yourself, “Does this item spark joy?” It was profound for me.

Suddenly pairing down my packed to the brim closet and eight totes of out of season or doesn’t fit me right now clothes didn’t feel as much like a nightmare. I began by looking at each item separately and asking myself the all-important question, “Does this spark joy in my life?” This question is drastically different than my normal purging questions like, do you use it, does it serve a purpose, have you worn this lately? It honestly didn’t matter anymore if I had worn something last week; if the answer was no, it doesn’t spark joy in my life or in my heart, I put it in the donate pile.

First world problems: I now have 10+ bags of donate stuff to find a new home for. Sad thing is I believe I will have even more once I move on to purging my dreaded garage! This brings me to my point. Where do you take donations like gently used clothes, shoes, sheets and blankets in Ada? I was in search of an organization that will provide them to the people truly in need, rather than just haul it off to Goodwill. Not that there is anything wrong with Goodwill! Turns out we have a few different options here locally - one being Compassionate Outreach. They are open every day accepting donations and offer a free medical clinic twice a month. Compassionate Outreach is reaching out to our community and offering services that are greatly needed. Another organization that accepts gently used clothing is Abba’s Tables. You can drop those off any evening after 4:30pm. Any individual coming into Abba’s Table in need for clothing can take what they need. This is a hidden treasure at Abba’s Tables - another way they seek to meet the needs of the individuals in our community.

If you find yourself buried under a mountain of unused, unneeded, sparkless goods, check out these two organizations. Let’s keep working together to meet needs in our community. Ada is a great place to call home!

Team Tyman Love Legacy Check Presentation

Team Tyman Love Legacy Corporation is making great strides to help cancer treatment patients with the cost of transportation. They have been given a $15,000.00 matching opportunity. They have until July 1, 2016 to raise the funds. This is a great cause, cancer touches so many lives, if you are looking for a way to contribute to Team Tyman contact Connie Merriman at:
Team Tyman Love Legacy Corporation is making great strides to help cancer treatment patients with the cost of transportation. They have been given a $15,000.00 matching opportunity. They have until July 1, 2016 to raise the funds. This is a great cause, cancer touches so many lives, if you are looking for a way to contribute to Team Tyman contact Connie Merriman at:

From My Perspective: Lets Catch Up Part 2

Nice to see you all back, let’s just jump into the fun stuff! What do ya say? As I talked about last week our Board held its annual meeting January 19, 2016. That was a long awaited Tuesday night for many organizations around Ada. As a new granting Foundation we, quite honestly, were prepared to have a few kinks in the process that night. Luckily, it went incredibly smooth. Several decisions were officially made, such as the priority of health and wellness grants over social services. These types of decisions are crucial in the evaluation stage of each grant. Ok, ok, ok I’ll get on to the good stuff as promised!
Valley View Health and Wellness Foundation awarded five grants this last cycle. Our largest grant was awarded to the East Central University Foundation (ECUF) for the purchase of high-fidelity mannequins and supplies needed to operate them. These mannequins simulate real life medical situations and allow nursing students to practice their skills on a regular basis. The School of Nursing is hopeful that soon our state will pass a bill allowing nursing students to do 30% of their clinicals on the high-fidelity mannequins. One of the special aspects of this grant is that it is a multi-year grant. Our Board voted to fund $120,090 the first year of this project, $25,000 the second year and $2,000 the third year. We are looking forward to seeing East Central University continue to offer cutting edge training to the nursing students in our community.
The second grant VVHWF awarded this cycle was to a new foundation located in Holdenville, Team Tyman Love Legacy Corporation. It was formed to honor Tyler Merriman and his fight to seek the good in life even while battling cancer. The family behind Team Tyman has worked hard to form a strong foundation with excellent internal controls. Their goal is to be able to assist any rural cancer treatment patient in the Pontotoc County area with gas cards to pay for the travel expense of treatment. They work closely with Mercy Cancer Center here in Ada to accomplish this. Studies have shown that a cancer patient living in a rural area has a higher mortality rate. This is largely due to them discontinuing treatment because of the expense of travel. The heart behind Team Tyman is to be an encourager to each patient, allowing the spirit of Tyler to live on. The Board granted Team Tyman $15,000 to continue their mission of supplying gas card to traveling cancer patients. The VVHWF Board also extended a challenge to them - between now and July 1, 2016, whatever donations Team Tyman can raise, the Foundation will match up to $15,000. VVHWF is hopeful the community will rally around them and support this cause. There isn’t a person out there who cancer hasn’t touched. Let’s work together as a community to try and ease some of the hardships that come with cancer. For more information about how to get involved you can contact Connie Merriman at:
The third grant VVHWF awarded this cycle was to Abba’s Table. Abba’s Table has been serving the community through evening meals, offered to anyone in need, for many years. Our Board voted to cover the mortgage expense of their new building for one year. This totaled $12,000. They are doing a great work in our community. You can find more information about how to volunteer at Abba’s Tables at:
Our fourth grant awarded was to Mercy Health Foundation Ada for the purchase of Concussion ImPact hardware, software and training totaling $15,186. These devices will be distributed to all of the local high schools in the Pontotoc County area as well as ECU. All sports programs at each school will now be in compliance with Senate Bill NO. 1700. Concussion ImPACT is a very interesting cutting edge technology which allows each student to take a baseline test at the beginning of the season, then if they endure a possible concussion during play the student will be tested again to see if they should continue playing or sit and receive additional medical treatment. Each device is linking to the offsite physician who receives results and ultimately determines the course of action. This Concussion ImPACT technology will help keep our student athletes safe. We are so excited to help provide this to each school system in our community.
Our final grant awarded was to A Beautiful Day Foundation. Kindred Community is an initiative of A Beautiful Day Foundation with the goal of helping area widows build a support system amongst themselves. They achieve this by hosting monthly fancy and fun dinners, located in various community venues, for widows of any age. At these dinners widows are served by local ladies, they are offered entertainment, door prizes, new friendships, as well as loads of smiles and hugs. Studies have shown that once a widow loses her spouse her friend group begins to dwindle as she no longer has a partner to attend events with. Kindred Community seeks to battle this, as they connect local widows and teach them how to build a support system for themselves. Through the $5,200 grant VVHWF awarded to Kindred Community the widows in our community will be served in a new way. There is a great need for local volunteers to love on our widows, as well as funds to maintain this great work in Ada. For more information, you can contact Michele Johnson at:
We are so grateful to be a part of each of these organizations story. They are all doing a much needed work in our community. Now it’s time to turn our eyes forward. We are looking forward to partnering with new organizations this next cycle. If you know of any 501 (c) 3 organizations working in the areas of health, wellness or social services send them our way. We would love to talk with them and potentially partner with them as we seek to improve the health of Ada.

From My Perspective: Lets Catch Up

Wow, this last quarter has been a roller coaster full of new and exciting happenings! Let me catch you all up! In late October and November Valley View Health and Wellness Foundation was very busy wrapping up the end of our first, full granting cycle. We busied ourselves with lots of meetings with potential grant applicants, as well as loads of behind the scenes work to make the Grants Committee’s tasks feel somewhat more manageable. I never imagined the level of work that went into giving out money. There is so much to consider, to evaluate. The outcome of each grant request could affect hundreds of people. It is the heart of the Board here at VVHWF to use this money in ways that greatly affect our community. Sounds easy, but boy was it difficult. I found myself amazed at all the small local charities we have here in Pontotoc County. The passion behind each organization and all the work that goes into running them is astounding. Side note: If you don’t know about all the great things happening here in Ada through small charities, I would love to tell you about a few of them. Stop by my office anytime. These organizations can always use help, whether it’s in the form of volunteers or funds! Anyway, once we made it to December 1st our grant cycle deadline, our focus changed. Each organization that had written for a grant received a special site visit. At this point we had already met with each applicant and prepared a one-page summary for our Grants Committee. Once each site visit was accomplished the Grants Committee held an evaluation meeting. This really helped the Grants Committee gather all the facts about each organization as well as give Dr. Chapman and myself an outlet to share some of our experiences with each organization. Let’s pause for a minute, the hardest part of this process but possibly my favorite part was how my heart behaved. To my surprise I quickly fell in love with each applying organization. It must have been the passion I saw in each person, so inspiring. Honestly, that made it all the more difficult. The wonderful thing that came out of it though, was our transferred passion we carried to the Board. We truly were able to share our hearts about each organization, our opinions based on what we experienced, as well as our opinion on how each request would affect our community. That made up for not getting a vote in the final say!! A week after the evaluation meeting our Grants Committee met to form their recommendations to give the Board. Words can’t describe all the thought and consideration that went into each request. Behind the whole process is the motive to help improve the general health of our community. January 19, 2016 at 5:30 pm our Board met to determine the outcome of each request. I know each organization will make great use of their funding to improve the health and wellness of our community. So, do you want to know what was decided on? Stay tuned, next week I’m going to share the details of each grant and how we hope they leave their impact!