In 2003, a handful of Halliburton Baroid employees organized a sporting clays tournament to benefit a fellow employee whose family savings had been depleted by several serious and expensive surgeries. The event raised $24,500 and was considered a huge success. That good deed turned into a movement that created the non-profit organization known as Oilfield Helping Hands (OHH).
Today the organization has raised approximately $3.4 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 and volunteers.
“OHH raises money through corporate memberships and fundraising efforts,”said OHH President Darryl Swilley. “Each year, the organization hosts a variety of events, including sporting clays and golf tournaments to raise awareness and financial support.”
Upstream oil and gas operators and service companies serve as sponsors, which donate money and items for door prizes and auctions. Their generous contributions defer operation expenses for each event, helping to net the highest percentage of proceeds to assist families.
“Individual OHH membership is free,”said Swilley. “Active members participate in the fundraising events and attend monthly luncheon meetings. Not only are members updated on upcoming events, but they hear first-hand stories of where OHH funds are being distributed.”
The funds raised by OHH chapters stay in that community for their families. Funds are distributed to the various applicants based on OHH’s basic pre-qualifications, an active OHH sponsor member and their financial requests. The original OHH chapter began in Texas. Individuals in Oklahoma and Louisiana soon started chapters in their regions, along with supporters in the Rocky Mountains, the Permian Basin and South Texas.
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 employment verification must be derived from the exploration and production side of the oilfield.
The Acadiana chapter is based in Lafayette and covers 22 parishes. Chapter members, sponsors, and volunteers all dedicate a significant amount of resources in planning and executing their clay shoot and fishing tournament.
"This is an organization that was put together by good hearted people in our industry who understand that sometimes, unfortunate accidents happen,”said Sean Dauterive, M&J Energy Group and chapter VP of OHH Acadiana. “We experience difficult times in our lives from time to time and it is a comfort to know that there is a group of people who care and are ready to lend a helping hand. The beauty of an organization like Oilfield Helping Hands is that it gives us the opportunity to meet others in our industry, but also gives us the chance to unite in order to meet the needs of those who fall on hard times. It’s an honor to be part of this organization.”
To learn more about Oilfield Helping Hands, please visit www.oilfieldhelpinghands.org.