St Louis organization helps Oklahoma kids

Thursday, November 27th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A St. Louis-based organization has donated more than $40,000 to Oklahoma children this year for food and dental care.

The Sisters of Mercy have contributed about $30,000 for services such as backpacks for children to use every Friday to carry food home for the weekend.

Another $10,200 will help provide dental care for children.

``There are so many staggering stories of Oklahoma children who have very little to eat on the weekends and over holidays and literally live from one free school meal to the next,'' said Gaylene Stiles, manager of Mercy Health Center's community outreach program.

``They can't even afford a toothbrush or toothpaste, the simplest items that most of us take for granted,'' Stiles said.

Next year, the money from the Sisters of Mercy program will provide food to more than 1,000 children in about 30 Oklahoma schools. Nationwide, the Sisters of Mercy have awarded nearly $500,000 to 19 programs.

Mercy Health Center is a member of Mercy Health System of Oklahoma.