Tulsa Dream Heart Reaches Unimaginable Milestone, Serves three Million Meals – The Black Wall Road Occasions
Tim Newton (center) at the Tulsa Dream Center
Published on 06.06.2020 | Reading time 5 min 42 sec
By Katherine P. Mitchell, senior writer
On Thursday June 3rd, the Tulsa Dream Center (TDC) reached an incredible milestone. That was the day a total of 2,897,532 free meals were served, nearly 3 million total to North Tulsans. What a blessing to the church!
The interview with Tim Newton, Program Director, was a wonderful experience. It was one of those encounters that revealed similarities between strangers – as soon as we stretch out and speak.
We determined that we are both Southern California transplants and moved to Tulsa within a year.
Fourteen years ago, Tim came to Tulsa for a job that eventually led to his prospect of what could become the Tulsa Dream Center. Little did North Tulsa know that a precious gem had arrived. While working on his project, he volunteered to care for boys and girls and fell in love with the North Tulsa community. After realizing that he could be a change agent here, he quit his job and decided to stay. He was Program Director and has overseen all of the company’s activities and operations for the past 11 years. Tim and I came to a very different city from the one we are now occupying, and since then he has expanded and launched many new programs to support children and the elderly.
He was raised by grandparents in downtown Los Angeles, and while he didn’t always make good decisions that would move him forward in life, he moved ahead. This includes completing a GED and earning a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the Georgia Institution of Technology. An ambitious man can do a lot of good and that is the energy he has put into thousands of children and adults finding refuge, education, fun, food and exercise, along with life coaching and academic guidance. A lot of love is shared at the Tulsa Dream Center.
For example, the center is home to the only free clinic in Tulsa for residents without health insurance. They work with St. John Medical Center, which provides three medical staff Times per week along with free medication for their patients over 18 years of age. They proudly offer services to 19 area codes north of 244 and part of Sand Springs.
Other programs include tutoring, food and clothing distribution, and summer camp activities, all of which are focused on education and health. Hot meals are served twice a week and with the country grappling with a global pandemic, the demand increased by 15%. Tulsans come from everywhere to get food. On Tuesday March 24th, as the city started social distancing, 800 cars drove through and received food; By Friday the 27th, that number had doubled to 1,600 and had increased by hundreds every day. The on-site warehouse is largely complemented by donations from local grocery stores, the East Oklahoma Food Bank, Walmart Distribution Center, and Tyson Foods.
The Tulsa Dream Center offers breakfast, lunch, and a hot dinner equivalent to 2,700 meals delivered to your home Monday through Friday each week. TDC also acts as a hub for other churches and organizations that share food. Their collaboration extends from Sapulpa to Arkansas and Kansas.
When I asked Mr. Newton what differences he is seeing in his work today compared to ten years ago, he noticed that young people are more involved in decision-making. Young professionals like him take seats on committees and influence the future. He has noticed more white allies and more positive opinions across the community. He mentioned that when he arrived, a white realtor advised him not to buy real estate in North Tulsa, reflecting the views of many Tulsans. Thanks to Tim’s vision, perseverance, and foresight, the Tulsa Dream Center will retain its place as a beacon in guiding the state, if not the country, in enrichment programs that really make a difference in thousands of lives.
In addition to his numerous roles at TDC, Tim is currently President of the Drama School at Drexel Academy’s Elementary School, where he wants every boy and girl to excel in every aspect of life. from school, sports, community and home engagement. He prides itself on the centre’s academic work producing results where 100% of third graders achieve all levels of reading proficiency. Tim’s slogan is: “Do your best and don’t settle for less.” He and his lovely wife Nichole have two children – 6 year old daughter Avery and 1 year old Tim Jr.
The Tulsa Dream Center is located at 200 N. 46th St. North, Tulsa, and can be reached at 918-430-9984.
Katherine Penny Mitchell moved to Tulsa from Southern California. Accustomed to civic and community engagement, she began creating meeting rooms in North Tulsa that included music, education, and the performing arts. After completing a leadership program sponsored by LEAD North, a Leadership Tulsa Partner, she was asked by District 1 Senator Kevin Matthews to host a monthly district forum where our elected representatives (Senate, House of Representatives, and City Council) met the community and reported on their respective work. This began a new way of informing constituents about upcoming laws and other city and state activities.
Katherine retired from Tulsa Community College (TCC) after serving 10 years with the Student Union. the classroom as an instructor for development writing; and through student engagement as a consultant to the African American Student Association (AASA). She is also a visiting lecturer at Southern Nazarene University, where she completed a Masters in Business Management. Upon retirement, Ms. Mitchell started Beads Please, LLC, an online handcrafted custom jewelry business. She is also a singer / songwriter, curator, and recently selected Greenwood Art Project.