OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A popular snow cone stand that helps those in need is expanding in Oklahoma City.
Sasquatch Shaved Ice, a program developed by the Homeless Alliance, is expanding from its original location in the Plaza District to Bricktown.
Sasquatch Shaved Ice will host a grand opening event on Saturday, Aug. 28 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Bricktown location. The newest stand will be located on the corner of Reno and S. Mickey Mantle Dr. directly across the street from the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark and Sonic Plaza.
Organizers say the program is designed to help build job skills, improve financial literacy, increase high school graduation and higher education enrollment, and provide a foundation for long-term financial stability and job readiness.
“Low-income and foster-involved youth are less likely to find employment, but work history is perhaps more important for them than their peers in higher income brackets, who are more likely to attend college and have the social capital and familial networks needed to find employment more easily,” said Whitley O’Connor, program manager for Sasquatch Shaved Ice and social enterprise strategist for the Homeless Alliance.
Each employee gets a checking and savings account, and will take part in a program that includes financial literacy, and life skills training.
Through a sponsorship from Oklahoma’s Credit Union, Sasquatch matches dollar-for-dollar what their employees save toward their higher education and career goals.
“Employees have used their savings to help pay for college, buy eye glasses, purchase laptops for school and other expenses that help them move ahead in life,” said O’Connor.
The original stand employed 28 youths, who all graduated high school and many have gone on to college.
“Race, income and familial makeup shouldn’t stop young people from pursuing their dreams,” said O’Connor. “Every snow cone purchased from one of our stands helps to pave the way to work, education and financial success for youth in Oklahoma City.”
To learn more or donate, visit www.sasquatchshavedice.org.