Need a hand?

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A little over a decade ago, a handful of Halliburton Baroid employees organized a fundraising event in Houston, Texas. The friends raised roughly $24,500 for a fellow employee whose family savings had been drained as a result of several expensive surgeries. That one gracious gesture sparked an idea. “What if we did this regularly for families in need?”

That’s when the idea of Oilfield Helping Hands (OHH) became a reality.

Today the non-profit organization has raised approximately $2.6 million in funds to assist individuals and families in the oilfield community who are in financial crisis through no fault of their own. What started out as one clay shoot has now grown into a dedicated team of members, volunteers, and corporate sponsors who manage nine annual fundraising events throughout four chapters.

“Our events range anywhere from clay shoots to golf tournaments,” said Gary Brooks, OHH president. “We’ve hosted fishing tournaments, car shows and nights at the ballpark. We couldn’t do anything without the support of our sponsors, member volunteers and corporate members. We currently have 23 corporate members who are dedicated and committed to providing what we need in order to help the communities in which we serve. With their support, we have helped 235 families in need. And we’re looking forward to helping many more.”

12-3The original OHH chapter began in Texas. Individuals in Oklahoma and Acadiana soon started chapters in their regions, and in early 2014, the Rocky Mountain chapter was launched.

“We are excited to announce to the oilfield community that OHH officially has a Rocky Mountain chapter,” said Jamie Dandar, OHH Rocky Mountain president. “Being a part of the oil and gas industry is a great privilege. Sometimes our industry is misunderstood.  I’m honored to be a part of something that may only be perceived as positive energy! While no one expects crises to occur, they do happen. It feels good to be a part of something that can help those in need and further strengthen and support the character and integrity of the people in the industry.”

The Rocky Mountain chapter is based in Denver and covers the Colorado, Wyoming and Utah regions. The organization will raise money through corporate memberships and fundraising events. The chapter members are already hard at work organizing a clay shoot for this fall.

“We launched our chapter in the spring and we already have 250 members,” said Jessica Sloat, OHH Rocky Mountain vice-president. “Everyone has been extremely gracious and ready to help out in any way they can. It’s nice to be a part of a national organization that prefers to distribute chapter funds locally. So many individuals working in the Rocky Mountain oilfield are eager to give back to the community any way they can. This is a perfect opportunity to get involved in a major way.”

Individual OHH membership is free. Active members participate in fundraising events and attend monthly luncheon meetings. Not only are members updated on upcoming events, but they hear firsthand stories of where OHH funds are being distributed.

“What I like about OHH is that we meet people where they are in life,” said Sloat. “Hardship has many faces, including medical issues and natural disasters. If we can offer some sort of relief in a time of turmoil, it’s worth it.”

In order to qualify for financial assistance, the recipient must live and/or work within the OHH chapter area. The applicant must be nominated by an OHH active member, and 75 percent of the applicant’s family income and a minimum of five years of verified employment must be derived from the exploration and production side of the oilfield.

“We know that it’s sometimes hard to ask for help,” said Dandar. “We are a tough industry full of strong individuals. But sometimes it’s important to remember that you have to let people in when it’s too much to handle on your own. That’s where we come in. We encourage you to reach out because OHH will be ready to lend a helping hand.”

To learn more about how you can join the Rocky Mountain OHH chapter as an individual or corporate member or become a sponsor, visit the organization’s website at www.oilfieldhelpinghands.org/chapters/rocky-mountain.

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