Bartlesville Nonprofit Changes Name To Match New Mission Of Teaching Online Safety

Thursday, September 23rd 2021, 5:24 pm
By: Sawyer Buccy


A Bartlesville nonprofit is changing its name to match one of its new missions.

The group is teaching kids how to use technology safely and teaching parents how to talk to them about it. 

For 57 years, this Bartlesville nonprofit has been known as the Mutual Girls Club. Volunteers have been working with girls, teaching them life skills and character development.

The organization is now going by a new name, HeartMatters, and there is a good reason.

"Last fall we started doing online digital media safety," said Penny Meadows with HeartMatters. 

Social media and technology are a part of kids' lives and they wanted to make sure kids knew how to safety use those tools.

"Over time, as I became a board member and served here for about a year or so, then I saw how important this program really is," said Keith Kliewer, a HeartMatters board member. 

It went so well that Meadows and her team started hearing from kids and their parents about how their program was positively impacting families. Sometimes the team intervened at the perfect time.

"We had a testimony from a girl who had been connecting with an adult male, she was in 8th grade," said Meadows. “We had another testimony of a 6th grade girl who was connected through Animae with an adult male who had moved her over to discord.”

The mother of that 6th grader said her daughter was being groomed and has no idea what would've happened if she hadn't caught the messages when she did. 

She said whoever was talking to her daughter online, tried to make her feel like she was a part of a group who would always protect her and keep her safe and then would send sexually explicit messages and videos. She said the messages that kept coming, even after the 6th grader told the group to stop. 

"She felt shamed, and she didn't feel like she could tell me what she had stumbled into. She is still trying to understand that she was victim," said a Green Country mother who wants to remain anonymous. 

She and her daughter started working with HeartMatters.

"I literally saw her come up out of that darkness," said the mother. 

Part of the program is making sure kids know how to identify predators. Organizers will also to be bringing in experts and other Green Country nonprofits to teach parents and guardians how to have these conversations with the kids in their lives.

"We also do character development," said Meadows. 

The new name reflects a new mission, a mission created to help every child and family organizers can reach. 

For more information, visit their website here or their Facebook page here.