Inola Castings has become known for helping during times of disaster by making pins to raise money. They are at it again. David Freeman designed a pin last week, and they are already at work producing them. So far, they have been distributed in small quantities to Sherwin-Williams in Claremore, the National Bank of Sallisaw, Pop’s & GiGi’s Café and 260 Broadway Boutique, both of Inola. There are other locations in the works.
Shipping will also be available for large or small quantities. Shipping charges will be added to the order as follows: 1-10 pins $2.50, 11-25 pins $5, over 25 pins we will need to work up your shipping charge on an individual basis. To order and have pins shipped, please call 918-543-8940 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The first fundraiser that was initiated by Inola Castings was in 1990 when they made Desert Shield/Desert Storm bracelets to raise money for the USO. George Freeman, the founder of Inola Castings, believed that if you didn’t give back, all of your blessings could be taken away. He was the type of man who would give away his last dollar if someone else needed it more. In 1993, a tornado ripped through Catoosa and caused the town and its residents a lot of damage. Again, George created a pin and contacted the Catoosa Sertoma Club and asked if they would sell them to raise money.
When the OKC Bombing happened, he designed a pin that morning and by that afternoon he was calling news stations to get someone to get the word out that we would make the pins if they would distribute them. The post office came forward and offered to sell them across the state. The Healing in the Heartland Pin raised over $150,000 for the children’s education fund. After 911, the United We Stand pin raised over $400,000 for the September 11th Fund and the OKVOAD organization. The Support our Troops pin raised over $110,000 for the USO.
George Freeman said that not everyone has hundreds or thousands of dollars to give but almost everyone can give $5 and it makes them feel like they are part of something bigger. He was right. It took groups of people giving $5 at a time to raise those larger amounts of money.
Last week, when the Inola Castings team started discussing doing a pin, they weren’t sure what kind of response they would get. They all agreed that with the storms and flooding all around them they felt helpless and wanted to do something to help. Even if they only raised $50 with the pin, it was worth the effort to try. On Sunday, they posted on Facebook about the pin and in less than one hour that post reached 2491 people and had 60 shares. By Monday morning the post reach is over 11,000 with over 150 shares. Which means that they aren’t the only ones who want to help.
-by Stephani Freeman