Refined charity: A conversation with Oilfield Helping Hands

PennEnergy speaks with Oilfield Helping Hands President Gary Brooks about the organization’s fundraising efforts. Enduring times of crisis can be a daunting experience. Medical emergencies, weather-related disasters, and unprecedented personal trouble can leave individuals and families with a crippling financial burden that can shatter the security of their lives. In these times of crisis, the charity of family, friends, and even strangers can mean the difference between enduring a hardship, and being decimated by it. In the oil and gas sector, an organization has been garnering attention for its commitment to helping those in need. Called Oilfield Helping Hands, the group has spent more than a decade fundraising to benefit those in the industry who need some extra help.

Oilfield Helping Hands began in 2003 when a group worked to help an employee of Baroid suffering from a serious medical condition. He had numerous doctor and hospital bills, but his family’s savings had already been exhausted. A clay pigeon shoot was held to raise funds for his treatment. It was a huge success, and the group decided more good work could be done.

Since its beginning in 2003, Oilfield Helping Hands has helped 205 families and distributed $2,289,473. Many of the recipients struggled with medical issues, but other difficulties also needed OHH attention. PennEnergy spoke with OHH President Gary Brooks about the organization, its fund-raising, sponsors, and recipients.

“There are many stories from families that have needed our help over the years,” said Brooks. “Each of them are unique and several stand out; a young lady that was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and is still fighting her way back, a young family that had a daughter with an illness that required round the clock care, persons who have lost homes due to fires and floods or been evicted and needed help getting started all over. OHH was able to provide funds to assist these families in their time of crisis.”

PennEnergy speaks with Oilfield Helping Hands President Gary Brooks about the organization’s fundraising efforts. Fund-raising for the organization has focused on events and sponsorships. Clay-shooting, fishing, and golf tournaments are regular events among the organizations 3 chapters, located in Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Houston, Texas. The funds raised at these events stays with the chapter that held the event and goes to help recipients in that area.

Brooks says additional chapters are being considered. “We also would like to expand to South Texas, West Texas and other operating areas here in the US,” said Brooks, “everywhere there is an active oilfield community.”

That sense of community is exemplified in the group’s sponsors; companies from across the oil and gas sector and beyond. Energy Corporation of America was the group’s founding sponsor company, and the company’s enthusiasm helped set the tone for years to come.

“In the early years,” said Brooks, “their whole office turned out for every event and volunteered the many hours that were required to put on the events, with the help of many service companies and operators whose support has grown stronger over the years.”

The list of Corporate Members has grown to nearly twenty companies and organizations that have continually contributed for several years. Across the three levels of sponsorship, this includes well-known industry companies like IHS, Hunting, SM Energy, Cameron, and Premier Directional Drilling.

“The largest support was when Oilfield Helping Hands was honored to receive the Hunting Art Prize in 2010 and in 2011,” said Brooks. “We were awarded over $100,000 each year and the funds and recognition helped us get the word out about OHH and helped us start the additional chapters in Oklahoma and in Louisiana.

“We have also been blessed at each of our events by a growing number of companies stepping up to buy different event sponsorships which help us raise funds for the families who need our help.”

2014 sees Oilfield Helping Hands working to further raise awareness of its mission while expanding into new operating areas. Several upcoming events are listed below, and more information about the group, including how to become a sponsor or corporate member, is available at www.oilfieldhelpinghands.org.

11th Annual Houston Spring Sporting Clays - April 11, 2014
4rd Annual Oklahoma Golf Tournament - May 19, 2014
3rd Annual Acadiana Sporting Clays - May 30, 2014
10th Annual Houston Saltwater Fishing Tournament - August 7-8, 2014
Inaugural Oklahoma Sporting Clays Shoot - September 12, 2014
9th Annual Houston Golf Tournament - September 22, 2014
9th Annual Houston Sporting Clays - October 10, 2014
2nd Annual Acadiana Redfish Tournament - October 17-18, 2014

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