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URGENT: Christmas Warehouse Space Needed

We are in need of a location for our Angel Tree program. This space would allow us to serve  Oklahoma County families in need during Christmas.

Our space needs:

  • 70,000 to 80,000 ft.².
  • Temperature controlled
  • Loading dock
  • Working lights and restrooms
  • Parking area for volunteers and clients
  • Safe and secure area for all of our items
  • Minimum time frame from November 16 to December 18

We will provide a certificate of insurance for the term of the lease.

If you have or know of a space we can use, please contact Jeff Lara at 405-246-1108 or jeff.lara@uss.salvationarmy.org. Thank you!

Angel Tree Program for Oklahoma County Begins

Angel Tree Applications

The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma will begin handing out appointment letters for the 2015 Angel Tree Program for residents in Oklahoma County on Tuesday, September 8 at 9 a.m. at their Social Services office located at 1001 N. Pennsylvania in Oklahoma City.

The appointment letter includes a date, time and instructions on eligibility for The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program. Once the letter is collected, individuals will need to follow all of the instructions and bring the necessary documentation to their appointment assigned in their letter.

Beginning September 8, appointment letters will be available Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 3:30 p.m. In order to receive Christmas assistance from The Salvation Army, individuals must come and collect an appointment letter.

Residents of Oklahoma County and residents of ZIP codes 73159, 73165 and 73170 of Cleveland County may come during the stated hours to receive an appointment letter. (Residents of ZIP code 73160 should contact The Salvation Army in Norman at 405-364-9910.)

The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program helps families with children, ages 0 to 14, and senior citizens, ages 62 and greater, by providing Christmas presents, a food box and a Bible. Last year, over 2,000 families received Christmas assistance through The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma’s Angel Tree program.

For more information and the latest updates, please visit our website at www.salvationarmyokcac.org/christmas.

Spreading Smiles: A Volunteer’s Mission of Hope

Geryl - WebsiteGeryl Force came with his wife to volunteer on our first Thanksgiving Day in The Salvation Army Chesapeake Energy Center of Hope. They were two of the 350 volunteers who came through our building that day.

“It made it easy for us as volunteers to be able to serve everybody like they wanted to be served – like they were personally being served by a person. If they needed anything, we could go get it for them. With that many volunteers, we waited on them hand and foot, you could say.”

After the holiday, Geryl began volunteering in the Client Choice Food Pantry. He loves talking with the clients who come for the food assistance program and strives to make them each feel appreciated.

“Since I’ve started volunteering in the pantry, I’ve really enjoyed it. I have fun with the people. We joke around. They talk and I listen if they’ve got something they need to say to get it off their chest. I try to be a listener as well as communicate with them because I like to listen to what they have to say. If they have any problems, they can talk to me. I can’t solve them but at least I can listen.”

It’s been eye-opening for Geryl too as he sees the need in our community for food assistance. The clients are so grateful, continually expressing their thanks, which puts a smile on his face that he shares with the next person.

“I try to have some fun with them. They laugh, and it puts a smile on their face.”

Story of Hope – Randy

Randy Woods - WebsiteRandy’s mother left him when he was two years old. He was raised by his grandmother but Randy had a lot of anger in his heart. At the age of eight, he began drinking and by 15, Randy was an alcoholic. At 21 he started using drugs and his life continued to spiral out of control with a couple of visits to prison.

Randy first came to The Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) in 2010. After finishing his 90 days of recovery, Randy left without really a change in his heart. He came back to the center in 2012 with a better attitude. After graduating in 2013, Randy started a business with a friend but when they walked off with half of the equipment, Randy slipped and drank. Knowing he couldn’t outrun his addiction or continue to spiral again, he came back to the ARC.

“I’ve got more of an open mind. I’ve got clarity to see that it’s not about me. It’s about God working through me. Once I change my attitude and my thinking, I can start leading by example. People look at me and they like me.”

Now the head cook at the center, Randy focuses on helping the other men in the program. He’s also gotten involved in The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Mission Station and loves that he can give back.

“It’s amazing because we can get together and fellowship. This place is full of God. Jesus is here and you can feel His presence always. Just being a part of that helps me grow and build my confidence and my character so I can become a better person altogether.”

The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Mission Station has allowed Randy and many others from the ARC to minister by giving their testimonies. It’s a place where they can share what God’s done in their lives through His unfailing love.

“Since the new building, with you guys and us over there, finally it’s starting to work together. United we can make, divided we will fall. I just know that God has a great plan for me.”

Because of your donations, Randy found hope at The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center and found purpose at The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Mission Station. If you would like to help support these ministries:

  • Donate goods to The Salvation Army Family Stores. Find the nearest location near you by visiting https://satruck.org/ or call 1-800-SA-TRUCK.
  • Attend a service at The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Mission Station at 1001 N. Pennsylvania, OKC, OK 73107 on Sundays or Tuesdays at 6 p.m.
  • Give financially to The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma as we continue to help those in need in our community by clicking the Donate Now button above.

Scared & Homeless: Kelly’s Story of Hope

Kelly SouthernKelly had never experienced homelessness until last winter. Kelly and her husband originally came to Oklahoma to stay with family but when they arrived, the family was gone and the couple had no one else to turn to for help. She was scared.

On extreme winter nights, they would get a cot in our shelter at The Center of Hope. Kelly would ask the staff everyday if any beds were available and in February, the answer was finally yes.

“Our experience since we’ve been here is lovely. It’s beautiful. Everybody’s so sweet – everybody. I don’t have a problem with one single person.”

Kelly and her husband have both been able to find jobs and have been approved for an apartment. The things they placed in storage before becoming homeless will furnish their new place.

“If we get those keys, we’ll just sleep on the floor. I’m ready to go. I’ve been here since February and I didn’t think you could stay that long but it was on God’s time. We couldn’t rush Him.”

Kelly repeatedly expressed her appreciation of the staff and residents for their support and friendliness. As Kelly prepared to leave for work with her gospel music at the ready to help her stay awake, she reinforced her gratitude for the shelter, “I had the best experience.”

Because of your donations, Kelly and her husband were able to find their way back from homelessness. If you’d like to make a difference in the life of someone just like Kelly, you can:

  • Volunteer as a mentor and teach budgeting and other life skills.
  • Provide travel size containers of shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, soap and toothpaste. Other items needed also include toothbrushes, combs and new socks. Items can be dropped off at 1001 N. Pennsylvania, Oklahoma City, OK 73107.
  • Click the Donate Now button above and financially support our shelter programs.

Christmas in July: Women’s Auxiliary Raising Funds to Purchase Bicycles for Holiday Program

Buck$ 4 Bikes 2015 Newsletter wShield
The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Raising Funds to Purchase Bicycles
for Needy Children at Christmas

You may be thinking about firecrackers, but there is a group of “elves” thinking about Christmas.

Beginning July 1, the Women’s Auxiliary of The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command will distribute 77 countertop Red Kettles to area businesses to collect donations for the Buck$ 4 Bikes program.

Over a thousand children ages 14 and under, who may otherwise receive no gift at all, dream of a bike for Christmas. Children qualified for The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program were consistently asking for a new bicycle yet their requests were being unfulfilled.

The Buck$ 4 Bikes program was founded in 2006 to help fulfill the requests of these children. In 2014, 1,880 children wished for a bike and 1,000 received one thanks to donated funds to the program.

The 2015 Buck$ 4 Bikes program goal is 1,150 bikes for needy boys and girls. Every penny donated to this cause will go to the purchase of a new Huffy bicycle with prices ranging from $32.00 to $48.50.

Sparklers in July are temporary. Sparkles in a child’s eyes on Christmas last forever. Help us make every child’s wish come true.

To donate funds to purchase a bike, visit one of these area businesses across the Metro during the month of July.

Arvest Bank Homeland (NW 122nd & Rockwell) Pace Butler Corporation
Advance Chiropractic InterTrust Quail Creek Bank
BancFirst (5 locations only) Jasco RCB Banks
Bandana Reds JGVE Engineering The Buzz Coffee Shop
Beauty Mark Salon J’s Hallmark locations Sweets & Spurs
Cuppies & Joe Liberty Mutual TBS Factoring Service
Del Rancho (Midwest City) Maccini Construction Tinker Tag Agency
Fellers-Snider Law office North OKC Rotary Club Veritiv
First National Banks Napoleon Deli
H & H Gun Range Old Dominion Freight Lines

Donations can also be made by mailing a check to:

The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command
Attn: Major Charlotte Gargis
1001 N. Pennsylvania
Oklahoma City, OK 73107
Memo: Buck$ 4 Bikes

If you have any questions, contact The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command at 405-246-1100.

Staff Spotlight – Chelsea Gallant

Even before meeting Chelsea Gallant, you can see in the way she speaks and interacts with others she has a love for people. You cannot help but be drawn in by her magnetic, bubbly personality.

Chelsea’s desire to be used of God and minister to people is clearly evident through her work. After graduating from Bible College with a music ministry degree, she immediately became the pastor of arts and worship and today works as the director of youth outreach and evangelism for The Salvation Army Citadel Corp, or church, in Oklahoma City.

In her role, Chelsea has the privilege to speak hope and encouragement into the lives of the children who attend The Salvation Army’s Boys & Girls Club as well as the children who attend the weekly church services.

“When I first worked at The Salvation Army’s summer youth camp, I remember thinking, ‘Wow, this organization is doing the very thing that I have been longing to do in my ministry: get outside the four walls of the church and walk with people who come from all different backgrounds,’” Chelsea expressed. “Being a person who is passionate about youth and music ministry, I was incredibly impressed by how intentional The Salvation Army is about reaching youth.”

Her passion shines through every day. Chelsea’s discovered her ability to do missionary work wherever she may be and has surrendered her life to God. Her prayer is for God to open doors where she can share His love and gift of salvation with them.

“I fully believe that God has brought me to be a part of the ministry of The Salvation Army and I wouldn’t want to even imagine being anywhere else!”

Story of Hope – Diana

Diana, left, with Lois Deberry, executive director at The Salvation Army in El Reno, sitting on the couch she received.

Diana, left, with Lois Deberry, executive director at The Salvation Army in El Reno, sitting on the couch she received.

Walking into Diana’s home, you wouldn’t know that this woman had been put out on the street with none of her belongings just a few months prior. But when Lois DeBerry, executive director at The Salvation Army in El Reno, met Diana on Christmas Eve last year, all that was in the home was the quilt Diana slept on.

After visiting with Diana, Lois leapt into action contacting The Salvation Army’s Family Stores in Oklahoma City for items for Diana’s home and on December 26, Lois delivered a bedroom suite, couch and dining room table.

“They just kept moving it in and moving it in,” Diana explained with a smile. “I couldn’t believe it because I thought I was just getting a bed frame.”

Diana is grateful and amazed by the generosity she’s received in her short time in Oklahoma. Originally from Colorado, Diana came to live with her daughter. When the arrangement dissolved, Diana moved in with someone she thought was a friend.

After witnessing abuse in the house, Diana told her friend she was looking for another place to live and that’s when she was attacked. This woman threw Diana against the wall and as she escaped to her bedroom, the woman followed her and began strangling Diana. The woman’s grip loosed only when Diana dug her nails into the woman’s arms.

Diana quickly left the house and found help at Holy Trinity Church where the Father got her a room. She visited with Turning Point on available resources and her next steps. After getting her apartment, Diana’s caseworker contacted Lois. After recovering some of her belongings and receiving the furniture from The Salvation Army, Diana’s apartment has been turned into a home.

Diana has faced many challenges since coming to Oklahoma, including losing her dog to cancer, but she hasn’t lost her joy. Working on budgeting and her finances, Diana is looking forward to the opportunity to minister to others through the greeting cards she makes for the church and friends.

“I’ve tried not to worry about anything because I know God’s going to take care of me,” she said with that same smile. “He has His hand on me.”

Better than Daytime Television

Debra Gibbons - FacebookDebra Gibbons approached the Angel Tree booth at Penn Square Mall eight years ago with the intention of adopting an Angel. Debra had been blessing a young girl with Christmas for years on her own but as the girl had moved, she wanted to continue blessing another family.

As she talked with the volunteer at the booth, Debra began to ask questions about volunteer opportunities at The Salvation Army. The volunteer encouraged her to attend a Women’s Auxiliary meeting to see all of the ways the ladies support the programs and services of The Salvation Army.

Debra joined soon after and immediately jumped in with both feet serving as president for two years.

“As I get older, I see how short life is and the need for volunteering and then you realize you have all eternity to rest,” she laughed. “And, daytime television is terrible! But joking aside, I felt a calling here.”

Debra has given countless hours over the last eight years selflessly serving the community in any capacity necessary – even if it means answering the phones.

Salvation Army Hosts 4th Annual Senior Living Fair

Website Banner - 2015 logoThe Salvation Army 4th Annual Senior Living Fair will be held on Thursday, April 30, 2015 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Salvation Army Chesapeake Energy Center of Hope, 1001 N. Pennsylvania, Oklahoma City, OK 73107. The Senior Living Fair, presented by Well Preserved Advisory Group and Senior News & Living OK, strives to spread hope by providing resources that empower older Americans to be more positive, active and physically fit.

“We’re excited to be able to showcase so many organizations in one place that can be a resource to senior citizens,” said Lisa Sydnor, senior programs manager at The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma. “We have 47 exhibitors for this year’s fair who can enhance and empower our seniors to live fuller lives.”

The Senior Living Fair is free to the public, thanks to sponsors like Brookdale Senior Living, and includes exhibits for health and wellness, housing, Medicare information, insurance, aging-in-place, and fun ways to stay active.

Exhibitors for this year include the Oklahoma State Attorney General, Legal Aid of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Police Department, Oklahoma City Fire Department, Valir, Sunbeam Family Services, RSVP of Central Oklahoma, AARP, Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, Seniors on the Move and many more.

The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma operates five senior centers throughout the Oklahoma City metro. The centers are open every weekday to seniors ages 55 and older. Seniors have the opportunity to socialize, enjoy lunch and participate in numerous activities that include Bible study, exercise classes, crafts, dancing and much more.