Springs of Grace is a little church nestled in a North Tulsa neighborhood and is the home of nonprofit One Hope, where week after week faithful volunteers pour hope into the local community. The ministry’s main outreach is called getAHEAD, a free reading program held year-round after school from August to May and targets children who struggle with reading and writing.
Volunteers pick up the children from their schools or homes and bring them to getAHEAD, where they spend the next three hours playing games, eating snacks and working on homework together. They have an extensive library of children’s books, and time is set aside each day for the kids to practice their reading skills one-on-one with a volunteer. At the end of the day—the most important part of the day—the kids gather around their teachers, sing Bible songs and hear stories of how much Jesus loves them and wants them.
One Hope volunteer Mackenzie Moody explains, “We really try to focus on improving their reading skills, because studies show that kids at Tulsa Public Schools are pretty behind. If we can get their reading skills up to par, we get them that much closer to graduating high school.”
High school graduation is something that One Hope Ministries aims to help every Tulsa child reach, whether through academic help or athletic training. One Hope is very enthusiastic about getting children involved in their school sports. Each year, One Hope sponsors, staffs and hosts the largest free summer day camp for children in Oklahoma, with over 400 children attending each summer.
Every morning, church youth and volunteers help local football, basketball, volleyball, track and soccer coaches staff a sports camp at the Rose Bowl as a way of expressing love to the neighborhood kids and conveying the hope of the Gospel.
One Hope volunteer Samuel Blankenship states, “If we can get these kids involved in sports and loving sports at an early age, they are a lot more likely to graduate high school. Team involvement is good for students on so many levels, and it provides a higher level of accountability and guidance when it comes to getting their school work done as well.”
However, One Hope cannot take this on alone and each summer they hire 15 to 20 college-aged interns to train in inner-city ministry and to staff these programs. During the 10-week internship, the interns go through rigorous training, including sexual abuse prevention, practical training for sharing the Gospel in the inner city, rigorous book studies and Bible studies each week as well as helping perform basic maintenance and cleaning in service to the church.
A truly unique ministry that labors in love for North Tulsa, One Hope’s mission is this: “One Hope exists to love the people in our city well by standing for justice, staying present in relationships and communities long-term, and sharing the hope of the Gospel in the context of the local church for the glory of Christ.” To learn more about One Hope or to get involved, visit