Colleague and Husband Set Example for Helping Others
Vol.6 Issue 2
Danny and Misha Carlisle.

An Enterprise Services Center (ESC) employee, Misha Carlisle, along with her husband, Danny remind us about the importance of giving back to our neighbors no matter what the circumstance. Several days out of every week, this couple purchases goods using money out of their own pocket to help those who are hurting and homeless.

Born in Chickasha, Oklahoma Danny and Misha have a rich history in ministry and serving others. They are also raising two girls that they have adopted. They even share the same career passion in being employed in the IT field. Misha works at the FAA and Danny at Integris Health. About 4 years ago, the couple realized a real need to support the homeless in the Oklahoma City area. This, combined with the need to educate their teenage daughters about the importance of being grateful for the many blessings bestowed upon them (as they feel that many teenagers today do not realize the abundance of what has been given to them). Danny decided to embark on a different kind of ministry. If he could help just one person, one person at a time, he could make a difference. And make a difference he has!

Homeless members in our community, some living in tents.
On any given day, the Carlisle’s countertop where donations are collected for distribution.
Danny Carlisle ministering to Oklahomans in need.

Whether it’s buying socks, gloves, hats, lip balm, granola bars, pudding or fruit cups, or hygiene products, Danny and Misha do what they can to fulfill a real need. Giving back to the community at least three times a week, it is not uncommon for the Carlisle family to pitch-in together to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, preparing bags of donations and then delivering them together to the homeless living on the streets of Oklahoma City. Danny has been known to get up early in the morning and make some special deliveries even before many arise. Misha notes that they do their best to meet some odd requests, like a bicycle tube, propane refill, or dress clothes for an interview. "Many people do not realize that these homeless are just like us, in that we too could be a few paychecks away from not being able to provide for ourselves and families. Anyone can get hurt on the job, or lose a job and then there you are," reminds Misha. Everyone has a story, and everyone needs that human compassion, knowing that at least one person cares. Misha explains, "If God puts a need in front of you, it is up to you to meet that need. We provide them with basic needs. It’s not up to us to judge how those items will be used, and how they use that gift is entirely up to them." Undoubtedly many of Oklahoma’s homeless are thankful, as they look forward to seeing the Carlisle’s truck making those special deliveries. Misha identifies herself as a bargain shopper, as she looks for largely discounted items to purchase to hand them out – be it long sleeved t-shirts or blankets. Their youngest daughter has really been moved by the whole experience and has learned first-hand about gratitude and compassion. She looks forward to striking up a conversation with what would otherwise be a forgotten stranger. Many of her encounters have brought her to tears, as she begins to understand the real power of giving.

In late February, Danny Carlisle thought he was attending a business meeting, only to learn that one of the local news stations was recognizing him with a Pay It 4ward Award. They awarded him $400 cash for his good work in the community. However, when his co-workers learned of this, they decided to double his award and gave him $800 to help fill totes with all kinds of supplies for his ministry. See the news story here.

Humbled by all the attention, the Carlisles are not interested in publicity or getting credit for the work they are doing. Their only hope is that other people will choose to help in one way or another. They have developed a Facebook page called One ARK Ministries, representing One Act of Random Kindness at a time. People can donate, prepare items, or get involved with the delivery process. No act of kindness is ever too small. They post stories about those being helped and how lives are impacted. They have witnessed a few success stories of people getting a job and no longer having to live on the streets.

Danny’s vision for helping is much greater than their current practice. He would like to be able to do a lot more for the homeless in our State, such as developing a village to house the homeless and teach them a trade like developing and caring for a garden. Danny notes that you can build a 3-D home, using a 3-D printer for approximately $4K. "There are a multitude of ways to help, if anything, helping just one person can change your perspective of what you have," says Misha.

ONEARK Ministries, a non-profit organization
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