Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Toby Keith Foundation and OK Kids Korral

One of the great things about becoming a mega-famous and/or rich person is that you have the power, connections and ability to make big things happen. That is why today, I would like to focus on an organization that has worked tirelessly to see the completion of a refuge for families of children with cancer. The famous/rich person in this instance is Toby Keith. The Toby Keith Foundation recently opened a facility in Oklahoma City that gives families of children with cancer a place to go when their child is receiving treatment at the nearby hospital.

While Toby Keith has a huge fan following, he is a fan of a few people too. Those people include, you know, curtain climbers, rug rats, tricycle motors, children. He has three of his own with wife Trisha, and the couple does everything they can to help others when they are in need. The OK Kids Korral was of great importance to Keith and his wife. A family friend had a child who was fighting cancer and the family really had no refuge during that time. Their child died, but in the wake of that death came the inspiration to build the Korral. That's a huge legacy to leave behind.

I had the opportunity to visit the Kids Korral while it was still in the construction phase. There wasn’t much there at the time, just the frame work, but it was easy to imagine what it would look like when it was completed. Approximately a year later it was finished and the photos of the facilities show a happy place where kids with cancer can be kids, parents and siblings can interact and treatment is just across the road. The people who work with and for the foundation saw this as a labor of love and so the dream did come to pass.

Toby and Trisha visit the families on a regular basis at the hospital and the OK Kids Korral. It is on rare occasion that photos are taken of these private moments. On the occasion that photos are released to the public, they show how genuine their love is for the families and the kids who enter the doors. Any Toby Keith fan knows that when you buy a CD, a bottle of Wild Shot Mezcal or a dinner at the Toby Keith I Love This Bar and Grill, you are not just funding the rich and famous lifestyle of a big star, you are investing in a family that gives back with heart and soul to the community around them.

So… If you feel so inclined, check out the Toby Keith Foundation Facebook page and the foundations website. If you want to help kids going through cancer and their families, consider making a donation to the foundation in order to keep it moving forward. Thank you Toby and Trisha, for all the genuine love and compassion that you have shown for so many over the years. 

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