Kendall Whittier is an organization co-founded by several local churches who recognized the deterioration of the neighborhood in 1969. Today College Hill Presbyterian, Grace Lutheran, St. Francis Xavier, University United Methodist, and the University of Tulsa work together as the core of Kendall Whittier’s outreach programs.
Today they offer an emergency food pantry open to families or individuals in which those in need are supplied with a week worth of food, up to four times a year. Students at Kendall Whittier Elementary also receive holiday gift bags and the teachers receive teacher recognition gifts.
Perhaps their most noteworthy program is the Gardening to Reach Out and Welcome Teaching Garden (GROW) which is in it’s eighth year of operation. The garden is used as an outdoor classroom for the University of Tulsa’s True Blue Neighbors Youth Mentoring Program (YMP), the after school program at Kendall-Whittier Elementary (KWE) as well as students in the Earth Matters Club at the University School.
When here, students attend weekly garden workshops allowing them to “develop an appreciation for organic gardening and nutritious eating.” The GROW Garden operates year round accommodating a wide variety of organic produce. The actively participate in gardening and harvesting the plants, learning about insects, crops, composting, and different recipes along the way.
In addition, to GROW, Kendall Whittier supports the Tipton Community Garden where residents have come together to form a Garden Council and manage the operations associated with running all aspects of the community garden. Together there are roughly 15 gardeners who have adopted the 28 planting beds. In addition, to the obvious benefit of food and nutrition, offering adults the opportunity to nurture something from seed to a family meal can be a very inspiring experience.
Their services are provided to those who live in the Kendall Whittier neighborhood (defined by us as the area bordered by 11th Street on the south, Dawson Road on the north, Utica on the west and Harvard on the east).