Lunch with Tom Taylor

Executive director, Emergency Infant Services • Time: 11:45 a.m. • Date: Jan. 11 • Place: Edward Delk’s



Tom Taylor hasn’t been in Tulsa long, but he’s already dived into both his new job and his new city with enthusiasm — renting a place at the trendy Metro in the Brady Arts District, trying downtown restaurants and joining community groups such as the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice’s Leadership Roundtable.

It’s not too great a leap. Although he grew up in Enid, Taylor is the son and grandson of Tulsans, and he is re-familiarizing himself with a city he fondly remembers visiting as a youngster.

And he hasn’t come far to take his new job as executive director of Emergency Infant Services (EIS). He spent the last 18 years in Oklahoma City, where he obtained his master’s in business administration from Oklahoma City University. He was also a volunteer, board member and then executive director of that city’s suicide prevention hotline and HeartLine Inc., a 211 program for 70 Oklahoma counties. He’s a 2010 graduate of Leadership Oklahoma City as well.

In short, he knows the drill and is ready to promote “a happier mission,” he says: helping families with small children.

Although not a father, he is the doting uncle of a new niece, which brings home to him the many needs of babies and piqued his interest in the EIS job. He also liked the mission of providing direct services and truly knowing that you have helped someone.

When we lunched at the noisy and busy Edward Delk’s near East Fourth Street and South Boston Avenue, photographer Michelle Pollard and I peppered him with questions about EIS and its mission.

Taylor says 85 percent of those who use EIS’ services are the working poor, people struggling to make ends meet and occasionally needing “a hand up,” he says, which the nonprofit can provide each family four times a year. The agency serves infants to age 5, providing diapers, formula, gently used clothing and sometimes baby equipment.

Since 2008, its client list has doubled — to 13,725 — and EIS gives away more than 225,000 diapers a year. Part of the increase, of course, has been the economy, people losing jobs or who are under-employed.

Another reason for the jump may be EIS’ new location at West Third Street and South Houston Avenue, Taylor adds. It’s just a couple of blocks from the bus depot and other helping agencies, including The Salvation Army and the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless.

A mother of two toddlers, Pollard wanted to know how she and other parents can help. Taylor quickly noted that EIS never has enough of the basic baby equipment: car seats, cribs, high chairs. Precious commodities, they come in and go out the same day to needy parents. Touchingly, most of these parents return the items after they are finished with them, he says, to do their part to help others like them. 

So, to all of you whose children have graduated to a big-kid bed and a seat at the table, here’s a great place to recycle those goods. 
As EIS celebrates its 35th year, Taylor tells us, the agency is also freshening up its look with a new logo and slogan, “Lifesavers for little ones.” Yet “the philosophy hasn’t changed in 35 years,” he says. “The tiniest victim of circumstances … shouldn’t go to bed hungry.”

No, they shouldn’t. Not ever.


More about Tom:

 

  • He is an international traveler. While a student at Phillips University, he spent a semester in Sweden and during that time visited 16 countries.
  • After living in central OKC, as a downtown Tulsan he’s primed to buy a bike and find a route to River Parks.
  • He’s a big fan of Mexican food.
  • He loves to cook — and adds his own touches to dishes. He has a picante chicken recipe that includes espresso tequila.

Five things Tulsans may not know about children in need:

  • Every night 1 in 4 children in Tulsa County goes to bed hungry.
  • In the City of Tulsa, 1 in 3 children lives below poverty level.
  • Approximately 82 percent of children in the Tulsa Public Schools system receive government food assistance.
  • EIS has more than doubled the number of children served in just four years.
  • EIS believes in minimizing the hardships of the working poor and the long-term effects on children.

Five ways to help EIS meet clients’ needs:

  • Donations of diapers, formula and/or gently used clothing or baby equipment
  • Donations of gently used car seats, baby beds and high chairs
  • Volunteering
  • Financial assistance — $10 will buy 20 jars of baby food; $25 will buy 125 diapers; $100 will cover the cost of a new crib or car seat.
  • Celebrate EIS’ 35th anniversary by helping the agency spread the word. Visit www.eistulsa.org or “like” EIS on Facebook.

Add your comment:

 

 

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December 2016

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Cost: $10-12

Where:
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Contact Name: Becky Weintz
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Contact Name: Becky Weintz
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Cost: 7.00

Where:
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Tulsa, OK  74137
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Sponsor: Kringle's Christmas Land
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Sponsor: Play for Burk Foundation
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The first illuminated, handwritten Bible of monumental size to be commissioned by a Benedictine monastery in the modern era is now on view at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Sacred Words: The...

Cost: $10-12

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
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View map »


Contact Name: Becky Weintz
Website »

More information

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Cost: 7.00

Where:
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Tulsa, OK  74137
View map »


Sponsor: Kringle's Christmas Land
Telephone: 918-810-5083
Contact Name: Ben Sumner
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More information

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Cost: Dinner for 2- $89; Dinner for 8- $189

Where:
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Contact Name: Becky Weintz
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Cost: FREE

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View map »


Sponsor: Play for Burk Foundation
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Contact Name: Melanie Bayles
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Cost: $10-12

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
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View map »


Contact Name: Becky Weintz
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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Sponsor: Collinsville Chamber of Commerce
Telephone: 918-371-4703
Contact Name: Megan Edwards
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More information

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Cost: Dinner for 2- $89; Dinner for 8- $189

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Contact Name: Becky Weintz
Website »

More information

In celebration of Tulsa Artist Fellowship’s first full year of existence, the George Kaiser Family Foundation is teaming up with 108 | Contemporary to host the first curated art exhibition of...

Cost: Free

Where:
108|Contemporary
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Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Artist Fellowship
Website »

More information

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Cost: 7.00

Where:
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View map »


Sponsor: Kringle's Christmas Land
Telephone: 918-810-5083
Contact Name: Ben Sumner
Website »

More information

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Sponsor: Mabee Center
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Join us for an interactive experience to create extraordinary works of art inspired by the Museum’s collection and special exhibitions. Our teaching artists will provide basic instruction and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Contact Name: Becky Weintz
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ALL KIDS 13 & UNDER – IT’S FREE! All children age 13 and under, accompanied by an adult, will be allowed in to all 2016-17 ORU Athletics ticketed sports for free. This is strictly a...

Cost: $22 // $17 // $12

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
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VICTORY Christian Center Presents “The Secret Gift” Saturday and Sunday December 10th & 11th   Celebrate the Christmas Season with Victory’s broadway style...

Cost: free

Where:
Victory Christian Center
7700 S. Lewis
Tulsa, OK  74137
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Join us at MAINLINE ART BAR for December’s First Friday Art Walk!  We have 2 amazing contemporary Oklahoma artists to celebrate this month. ...

Cost: FREE

Where:
mainline art bar
111 n main street
tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: mainline art bar
Telephone: 918-704-3330
Contact Name: katy eagleston

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The Alliday Show is preparing to kick off their 7th annual handmade arts and crafts show!  Featuring 15 of Oklahoma's prime artists and makers, The Alliday Show features a ticketed holiday...

Cost: $5 on Friday/Free on Saturday

Where:
Retro Den Tulsa
1216 S. Harvard
Tulsa, OK  74112
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Sponsor: The Alliday Show
Telephone: 918.671.1390
Contact Name: Briana
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If the thought of holiday shopping and crowds is making you feel abominable, then join Laughing Matter, Oklahoma's longest-running improve troupe at the PH Community House. Admission is...

Cost: $8.00

Where:
PH Community House
306 South Phoenix
Tulsa, OK  74127
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Sponsor: Laughing Matter Improv
Contact Name: Jerry Henderson
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