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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.

Staff Spotlight – Andy Hale

AndyAndy Hale was just having a casual conversation with a guy at the gym but little did he know it put into motion something bigger for him, his wife and their three children.

That conversation brought him to be the director of the Oklahoma City Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club where Andy directly impacts 70 youth each day with recreation, education, spiritual & character development activities, protecting them from drug abuse and gang violence.

But Andy isn’t new to youth ministry. With a background as a college basketball coach, he has a deep-rooted passion for inspiring young people to be the best they could be both in sports and life.

“Being a basketball coach at three different universities, I always represented the institution with pride and dignity,” said Hale. “I in turn encouraged each student athlete I worked with and influenced to do the exact same.”

Growing up on the south side of Oklahoma City, Andy has truly found a position that perfectly intersects his past experiences and passion – creating a safe, fun environment for inner city kids where their lives can be positively affected each and every day.

“God will put me where He wants me, when He wants me there.”
His total faith in God’s timing and plan shows through as he talks about his family, the Club’s kids and the community surrounding them.

If you would like to make a difference in the lives of our young people, you can:

  • Volunteer as a mentor, coach a sports team, teach a life skills class, lead an arts & crafts activity or entertain the kids with a musical or theatrical performance.
  • Provide snacks, prizes, arts & crafts and sports equipment for our youth to use while at the Club. Items can be dropped off at 2808 S.E. 44th, Oklahoma City, OK  73129.
  • Click the Donate Now button above and financially support our Boys & Girls Club.

The Little Things


Faunda (in middle) doing what she loves best – enjoying a conversation with friends.

When looking back on life, we usually remember the grand gestures and larger than life moments that created an unforgettable memory. We overlook the small things like hugs or encouraging words on a bad day that made a huge difference in that moment but quickly passed. The following letter came as a handwritten note to our senior center coordinator that continually points out those little things we so often forget.

To Whom It May Concern,


I have lived at Reding Senior Center for over nine years.


I have enjoyed The Salvation Army for several years, since my husband passed away a little over three years age, now I really appreciate it.


I love coming over every morning they are open. Coffee, a good laugh, interesting conversation, etc. The bus taking us to Walmart is a big help especially for those with no car.


I would be totally lost without this place to come to, the food – especially Broccoli Cheese soup – and Esther, she does so much for us. She has a special place in her heart for seniors. We love her!


Yours in Christ,


If you want to be involved in our senior programs, you can:

  • Donate board games, snacks, coffee or arts and crafts for our seniors to enjoy at the center.
  • Volunteer your time and lead the seniors in a dance or exercise class, teach a life skills class, spend time talking and playing board games with them, or assist during a holiday party.
  • Give a financial gift by clicking the Donate Now button above or mailing a check to 1001 N. Pennsylvania, Oklahoma City, OK 73107.

“This is what they do.”

Tom Philips - shelter bed (small cropped)

Each month, our board members are given the opportunity to share why they are involved at The Salvation Army. Tom Phillips recently seized the moment and told a story two business clients shared with him.

Several weeks ago I was visiting with a couple in my office when they noticed a Salvation Army plaque hanging on my wall. They remarked they recently had a very nice experience with The Salvation Army here in Oklahoma City and began to tell me their story.


Their daughter and future son-in-law were strolling downtown when they saw a young man pulling a suitcase down the street. She noticed that he was crying and appealed to her fiancé to stop and ask if they could help. Her fiancé was not too excited at the idea but agreed if the young man did not cross to the opposite side of the street, they’d approach him. In that same moment the young man sat down on a bench, so they walked to him and found him still weeping. They inquired if he was alright and he shared his story.


A year prior, the young man had come to Oklahoma City for an aunt’s funeral and decided to stay. He got a job at a factory but it didn’t go well and he was picked on by other workers. It came to a point when he got into an altercation with one of his tormentors and was fired. Since then, he had been unable to find another job and had started living on the streets with all his possessions in his suitcase because he didn’t know where to turn.


My clients received a call from their daughter seeking advice since they both work downtown and know the area. They discouraged their daughter from trying to take him home but put their heads together to come up with a plan. One of them thought of The Salvation Army, called and they were invited to come visit. All five came since they wanted to make sure the young man would be safe. They found themselves warmly welcomed by the receptionist who said there was a place for the young man.


The family left him to get settled though their daughter was still concerned about the young man’s welfare. Her father reassured her by stating, “This is what they do.” A few hours later they received a call from the young man and he told them that The Salvation Army was going to let him stay for up to two months while he looked for another job. Then he said, “You know what else? They’re nice to me here.”


That’s why I stay involved with the Salvation Army! I share this couple’s confidence in The Salvation Army’s knowledge and passion for meeting the needs of those who are hurting in Oklahoma City, those who have no place else to go, those who have no hope.

If you or someone you know needs a safe place to find rest, please contact us at 405-246-1080 or come to our shelter at 1001 N. Pennsylvania, Oklahoma City, OK 73107.

If you would like to get involved with our shelter ministry, you can:

  • Donate blankets and bath towels for our shelter guests to use during their stay.
  • Click the Donate Now above and give a financial gift to the shelter.

Senior Programs’ Gospel Extravaganza Benefit Concert

The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma’s Senior Programs is hosting a Gospel Extravaganza Benefit Concert on Saturday, March 14 at 4 p.m. at All Nations Church of Nazarene, 1121 N. Pennsylvania, Oklahoma City, 73107.

The artists performing include Arnetta Yancey, Glenda Greenhoward, Lé Fuze, Judy Jackson, Margaret Johnson, James Willis, The Men Who Praise, Prevailing Church Praise Team, Glenn Hamilton, and Chelsea Gallant with emcee McDonald Yancey.

“We have talented, award-winning artists performing for us and we are so grateful for their support,” said Lisa Sydnor, director of senior programs at The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma. “Our goal is to entertain and raise money for the programs at our senior centers.”

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.

“Many of our seniors are alone and we want to make sure they know they are loved and appreciated,” said Sydnor. “We strive to minister to the whole individual with a variety of programs each week.”

All funds raised from this concert will go towards the ongoing programs in The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma’s Senior Programs. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by contacting Lisa Sydnor at 405-274-0979 or Donations for the seniors programs can be made at or mailed to P.O. Box 2536, Oklahoma City, OK 73101.

Story of Hope: From Parking Lot to Food Pantry

JamesJames Dixon prayed a simple prayer upon retirement – “God, put me in a place where I can serve Your people with the opportunity of changing their lives.” James, our client choice food pantry manager, gets that opportunity every week as individuals leave, changed by the food assistance they receive at The Salvation Army.

But James didn’t come to The Salvation Army for a job. He started his service as a volunteer parking cars at the Senior Living Fair in 2014.

“I saw they needed volunteers through my church and decided to help. I met the volunteer coordinator who invited me to help with the food pantry program and I fell in love with working alongside The Salvation Army.”

James went from three hours a week to nine hours in just a short time. Volunteering at the Angel Tree distribution center during Christmas he felt such compassion for the people coming in who had so little yet were so grateful.

A military veteran of the Vietnam War, James has seen a lot during his life. Yet, the most amazing thing to him is those moments in the food pantry when someone comes in to find hope.

“I’ve learned a lot in my lifetime, and I still have a lot more to learn, but one of the most beautiful moments is when I’m here in this place helping others in need.”

Today, James is living out that request he asked of God several years ago. He has the privilege to work in the Client Choice Food Pantry where lives are changed not only with food, but with love and hope.

If you would like to get involved at The Salvation Army, you can:

  • Volunteer: Contact Liz Banks at 405-246-1107 or to give of your time and talents to one of our programs like the Client Choice Food Pantry.
  • Collect non-perishable items – oatmeal, cereal, applesauce, boxed dinners, peanut butter, canned tuna or chicken, canned soup, rice, & powdered, dry or shelf milk – and perishable items – milk, eggs, cheese, juice, frozen vegetables & meat – for the Client Choice Food Pantry.
  • Click the Donate Now button above and give a financial gift to the Client Choice Food Pantry.

(2/13/15) Winter Coats Availble for Oklahoma County Residents

The expectation of this weekend’s cold front is reviving the need for a warm winter coat. The Salvation Army has hundreds of winter coats available to keep Oklahoma County residents warm. Oklahoma County residents are invited to pick up a coat beginning today, February 13, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Thanks to the generous donations received from the Brad Edwards’ KFOR Warmth 4 Winter Program, our community, and our partners – South Oklahoma City Rotary and Legacy Cleaners – The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command has an abundance of coats, ready for distribution to help keep Oklahoma County residents in need warm.

“For anyone who needs a winter coat we have one for every size, shape and style. From youth to seniors, we have a coat for everyone that will be sure to keep you warm,” said Jessica Smith, Director of Social Services.

The Salvation Army’s Social Services is located at 1001 N. Pennsylvania, Oklahoma City, OK 73107 on the east side of the Chesapeake Energy Center of Hope. Individuals can pick up coats beginning today at 2 p.m. Coats will also be available next week:

Monday–Tuesday: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Wednesday: 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Thursday: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Friday: 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
(Closed Saturday and Sunday)

Basic eligibility rules for families and/or individuals to qualify for and receive coats from this program require:

1. Picture ID – such as a Driver’s License, H.NET ID card, State Issued ID, Governmental or Military ID, or Passport or ID from Country of Origin for ALL adult household members
2. Social Security Card
3. Proof of Residency such as a current utility bill, lease agreement or monthly mortgage statement

For individuals who are homeless, providing their H.NET ID card is sufficient.

Story of Home: Helena

HelenaHelena celebrated her 96th birthday today at our Shartel Senior Center surrounded by her friends and family. Helena enjoys the fellowship the senior center brings and especially likes how it keeps her active.

“Coming here keeps me from sitting around the apartment doing nothing,” Helena said as she looked around the center. “We like to do puzzles but I really like to play the Wii Bowling. I’m the oldest one here but I always win.”

She laughed as she recalled how some of the others at the center didn’t like to play the game because it made them tired.

“Yeah, you get tired but then you rest and aren’t tired anymore. My doctor said moving is what’s keeping me young and healthy. Walking and moving is important.”

The Salvation Army Senior Centers offer activities and lunch for seniors, ages 55 and older, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Seniors Program focuses on the health of the mind, body and spirit with activities ranging from Bible studies, field trips, knitting classes, dance classes, financial seminars plus many more.

So many seniors just like Helena would have no place to go if our senior centers were not open.

If you would like to ensure there is a place for seniors just like Helena to come, you can:

  • Volunteer and teach our seniors a dance, craft or life skill
  • Provide supplies for crafts such as yarn, material for quilts, jewelry making materials, etc.
  • Give now by clicking the Donate Now button above to help us expand our senior programs

Story of Hope: Katherine

Katherine - Facebook

Katherine with her service dog, Sally, on their bed in The Salvation Army family residential wing.

Moving away from negative family influences in Missouri, Katherine came to Oklahoma with nothing but her husband, son and service dog, Sally. Not wanting to impose on a friend’s hospitality too long, Katherine made calls to see if there was a place for her family to stay.

“I was afraid of being separated from my husband and son at a shelter. I didn’t want that to happen. But when I called the shelter here, I was told there was a room where we could all stay just like a hotel.”

Since coming to stay with us 12 weeks ago, Katherine’s husband has found a job and her family is about to receive their own apartment.

“It’s been life changing to be here & have the opportunity to start over for my son. He’s in a safe environment and can focus on his education. The Salvation Army is such a great place where you can focus on your experiences and work on making a change.”

Katherine and her family will be moving into an apartment at the end of the week. Because of your donations, your prayers, your sacrifice, stories like Katherine’s happen every day.

“Being here, I’ve been able to find God again. I can’t say it enough how grateful I am for this place. I would do anything for The Salvation Army. I want to get involved and give back so someone else can benefit from my experiences.”

If you would like to make a difference in the life of someone just like Katherine, you can:

  • Volunteer as a mentor and teach budgeting and other life skills.
  • Provide socks, gloves, black or tan slack, white collared shirts, black-soled shoes and other items individuals need for work. 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.

2014 Angel Tree Program & Locations

Thanks to your generosity, no Angel was Forgotten.

On behalf of our families we say Thank You!

December 19, 2014



December 11, 2014

As of December 10, 1,600 Angels had not been returned. Due to this high number, the deadline to return Angel Tree gifts has been extended until December 13 at 4 p.m. Donors should bring their gifts to Plaza Mayor at the Crossroads, 7000 Crossroads Boulevard, Oklahoma City, OK 73149 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. The Salvation Army’s distribution center is located on the east side of the mall, in the space formerly occupied by Montgomery Wards.

On average, 15 to 20 percent of Angels are not returned because they are lost or forgotten. The Salvation Army is in need of new, unwrapped toys and clothing items to fill these Angels, ages 6-14, this Christmas. Toy and clothing donations may also be brought to Plaza Mayor at the Crossroads until December 13.

For questions on how you can help ensure no child is forgotten this Christmas, please contact Major Charlotte Gargis at 405-246-1113 or Your donation will bring hope to a family this Christmas.

The 2014 Salvation Army Angel Tree Program

Christmas is one of the best times of the year in The Salvation Army. The red kettles are out in the community as well as our Angels. The Angel Tree program assists families who have a need for financial assistance with Christmas presents for their children, ages 0-14, or seniors, ages 62 and older. Once registered, the Angels are placed on a tree that allows the community to help their neighbors in need.

This year, The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma has over 5,500 Angels on the tree. We need your help to make every Christmas wish come true this season! To adopt your Angel, visit one of the locations below today.

  • Penn Square Mall
  • Quail Springs Mall
  • The Outlet Shoppes at Oklahoma City

After purchasing your Angel’s gifts, please return the gifts with the Angel’s tag to the adoption location you visited. All gifts need to be returned to the malls by Thursday, December 11.