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Norman Community Helps At-Risk Students by Raising Thousands

Norman Community Helps At-Risk Students by Raising Thousands

Community News

Community comes together amidst remote learning challenges

In the wake of the unprecedented COVID pandemic, Norman residents provide a much-needed reminder that communities can come together to support those in need.

The Norman Public School District’s recent decision to begin the school year virtually has left countless families searching for affordable daytime childcare options. While several community-based programs have been established to support these families, many parents are simply unable to afford them.

Lindsey Diffendaffer, a Norman resident and parent to three school-aged children, wanted to turn her concern for those families into action. “I heard several parents sharing concern and questioning how they could help at risk students secure spaces in these childcare programs.”, Diffendaffer recalls. “I just knew we could and should come together to help.” Diffendaffer enlisted a small team of moms, including Julie Benedict and Ashley Vickers. Each of them brought a unique skill set with backgrounds in philanthropic outreach and marketing. Together they launched a grassroots fundraiser to meet the community’s needs.

In just 24 hours, this “trio of supermoms” secured a partnership with the United Way of Norman, established a social media launch plan, and took their grassroots campaign live. What began with hopes of helping a few families quickly caught fire within the Norman community. “Just a few short days ago, three moms saw a need and came together in an effort to help Norman families during this unprecedented time of virtual school.”, said Julie Benedict. The initial goal for fundraising was surpassed within hours. Over the course of just a few days, Norman residents raised over $17,000 dollars and counting. With over 120 individual donors and endorsements from several local influencers and businesses, donations keep rolling in and subsequently, a growing number of families are now able to secure their children in programs that in turn, feed their livelihood and the local economy. “We are completely in awe of how the community has come together to support these children.”, Diffendaffer said.

All donations go directly to the United Way of Norman to fund daytime care scholarships and address the needs of at-risk Norman students. “We are amazed by what this fundraiser has accomplished, and we are glad cost will not be a barrier for families that need help.”, said Jed Dembowski, Vice President, Marketing & Communications at the United Way of Norman. Some of the meal assistance and day programs that United Way is supporting include: Community After School Program (CASP), Boys and Girls Club of Norman, Bridges Norman, and CCFI.

If you are an individual or a business that would like to donate, you can donate here. All donations are tax-deductible and come with a receipt.

About United Way of Norman: United Way of Norman fights for better education, financial stability, health and independence for every person in our community. #LiveUnitedNorman

Additional Info

Media Contact : Lindsey Diffendaffer (940)231-8230,

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