Undertaking a Noble mission: Foundation's employees focus on local outreach
ARDMORE — It has been said that while on some flights, Lloyd Noble would study the Oklahoma landscape.
Noble didn't just see terrain, he recognized a need. He saw land drained of much of its life by over-cultivation and poor conservation.
Noble once wrote in an editorial for The Daily Ardmoreite that the obligation of each generation wasn't what it had amassed, but rather “what they do with the wealth and power they have in their hands.”
On Sept. 19, 1945, he established the foundation bearing his father's name — The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation. The primary emphasis would be conservation and improvement of soil. And that has been followed. But it has a reach far beyond those areas.
It spans throughout the nation, the state and the community, said Mary Kate Wilson, the foundation's director of philanthropy, engagement and project management.
The latter includes the Noble in the Community program, which strives to build a stronger community and a unified employee base.
“For generations the Noble Foundation has supported local causes and projects, but this program brings all the individual efforts together under one umbrella and focuses those intentions into meaningful actions,” Wilson said.
“The Noble Foundation has supported many local community organizations and philanthropic efforts since its inception in 1945. However, Noble in the Community came about in the fall of 2013 as part of one of our employee team initiatives.
“The employee team saw an opportunity to bring all these activities together, organize them and engage our employee base at a higher level.”
A few of the projects they have participated in include Cities in Schools, which encourages success in and out of the classroom, and drop boxes for military care packages and Toys for Tots.
Projects they plan to assist with in the near future include cleaning the shorelines of Lake Murray and raising funds for March of Dimes and several others throughout the year.
Wilson provided an example of what she observed while helping with the Noble in the Community program.
“Recently I had an opportunity to spend part of an afternoon reading to a group of schoolchildren,” she said. “They were engaged and eager to learn and it left me with the understanding that these simple human-to-human connections have lasting meaning for everyone involved.”
Throughout the community
Foundation employees not only support the various projects as part of the Noble in the Community program but they continue to give of their time, energy and resources to other organizations, schools, churches, area agricultural education activities and community events, Wilson said.
“I am always amazed at our employees' level of compassion and generosity,” Wilson said.
“Today it seems as though everyone lives extremely full lives, balancing work, family and many other obligations. Yet we as employees dedicate time to these worthy causes because we believe giving is fundamental to being good stewards of our community. We cannot live in isolation. We support each other. We work together. We find common goals, and in these activities we discover our humanity.”
Wilson said she strongly believes that giving is where you find true happiness. In addition, this program provides a great opportunity for employees from different departments and divisions to interact and learn about each other on a personal level.
“If you look at our founder Lloyd Noble,” Wilson said, “he believed that giving back to your local community, state and nation were fundamental to both the organization and the employee. We continue to follow his vision as we pursue building better communities.”