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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.


NSAW: Volunteers Turned Friends

Barbara Admire (left), D'Anna Pulliam and Rhoda Laubach at a Buck$ 4 Bikes fundraiser.

Barbara Admire (left), D’Anna Pulliam and Rhoda Laubach at a Buck$ 4 Bikes fundraiser.

A chance meeting between two volunteers at the Angel Tree Distribution Center lead to an amazing friendship and perfect partnership serving others in The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary. D’Anna Pulliam had been a member of the Women’s Auxiliary in another city and when she moved to Oklahoma City, she knew she wanted to continue to be a member. Working at the distribution center the next Christmas, she met a community volunteer who made the work even more fun–Barbara Admire. When Barbara retired the following year, she joined D’Anna in the Women’s Auxiliary and so began their beautiful partnership.

Barbara and I depend on each other to successfully complete our responsibilities to The Salvation Army and our community.  Barbara is currently the Chairman for Disaster and Helmets 4 Kids, and  I am the first one she calls when she needs a helping hand.  I am currently Chairman of Buck$ 4 Bikes and Barbara is the first one I call when I need help.

Through all of their experiences together throughout the years, they can both agree what one of the most memorable moments has been together.

D’Anna: My most memorable time as a volunteer with Barbara was our car trip to Dallas for The Salvation Army National Convention.  Barbara drove and we got lost on our way to the convention center as well as on our way out of Dallas on our way home!  There are not words to explain how this occurred!

 Barbara: Oh yes, we got lost and let’s just say none of the women that were in my van ever asked me to drive again.

Thank you D’Anna and Barbara for your years of service to Oklahomans in need and the contagious joy you bring together.

NSAW: A Heart Beating for The Salvation Army

Annette BaseyAnnette Basey has experience it all through her years of service at The Salvation Army. Beginning her membership with the Women’s Auxiliary in 1997, her estimated 23,000 hours of service have provided her with many volunteer experiences. From putting together Christmas gifts for Angel Tree children to comforting individuals affected by the Moore tornados in 2013, Annette is passionate about the work she does.

It took only one visit to any of the facilities of the Army to observe all that TSA was doing, not only OKC, but all around the world! I had no idea of all the outreach programs that they were involved in. My vision of The Army was a couple standing next to the Red Kettle and ringing their bells, but that vision quickly changed whenever I volunteered at one of their outreach facilities. From helping people with their utility bills and providing a warm coat at Social Services to feeding several hundred hungry people lined up each day at the Red Shield Kitchen. When I shared what all the Army did with one of my friends, they brought their own son to the Adult Rehabilitation Center and he got help and it made me realize that ARC is not just for the “man on the street.” We all have needs and the Army serves “without discrimination.”

Throughout the countless individuals Annette has come into contact with in her years of service, she still remembers one young mother at Christmas who was overjoyed by the fact her son was getting a bicycle that year.

The tears of joy I saw in that mother’s eyes made my volunteering all worthwhile.

They say that where your heart is, there is your passion. Since I have a passion for the work of The Salvation Army, they will continue to have my heart. I love the statistic that says they have an extraordinary 82% flow-through of contributions which is applied to their charitable services. I feel like I’m doing something for the Kingdom and not just superficial activities that have no eternal value. I use the acronym WWJD in every activity that I consider and He always gives me the right choice!

Annette has shared her passion for The Salvation Army with friends and roughly 20 of those women have joined her in the Women’s Auxiliary. When asked how her perspective has changed from her volunteer service:

Volunteering with The Salvation Army has given me an even greater compassion for those around me who are in need. I love the scripture in Matthew 25:40 which says, “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” I love working for Jesus!

Thank you Annette for your years of selfless service to Oklahomans in need! We are thankful for passionate volunteers like you.

NSAW: Being Blessed by Blessing Others

Michelle & Nicole2The Angel Tree Distribution Center can be chaotic when the families come to collect their gifts. Michelle Riley, her twin sister, Nicole, and Nicole’s husband had their first volunteer experience with The Salvation Army during this time and loved it. Michelle’s family had blessed by The Salvation Army’s earlier in December when her brother-in-law received help at the Adult Rehabilitation Center. Looking to give back, the three volunteered to help guide the Angel Tree families through the process of receiving their Christmas gifts.

After her first volunteer experience, Michelle wanted to do more and took the opportunity to serve the evening meal at our Red Shield Kitchen. The women and children who came to eat at the kitchen caught Michelle’s attention. Burdened with a love for these families, Michelle’s desire to interact more with the women and children staying in the shelter lead her and her sister to become volunteers at the Women’s and Family Shelter.

We weren’t sure exactly how this volunteer opportunity would turn out since they had not ever had volunteers in this shelter before. Our purpose has been to love on these families and be light and salt. In order to gain trust with these women, we decided to bring arts & crafts to work with the children. Our first volunteer day at the shelter, no women and children came. This could have been a discouragement for us, but instead it allowed us to become familiar with the environment and the staff. Two weeks later, we arrived earlier and decided we would meet the women and children while they ate dinner and then offer to provide arts & crafts for the women and children. Since this time, God has provided several opportunities for Nicole and I to draw, color, make bracelets, play and talk with women and children. Almost every time we have gone someone would ask us, “Why are you all doing this?” We always replied, “Because we love meeting you all and spending time with you.” There is no catch to it. We are there to try and be a blessing, yet we are the ones who end up getting blessed. We are simply trying to be God’s hand extended to sometimes hurting and broken women.

Michelle and Nicole continue to increase their volunteer ministry. At Easter the sisters included their church women’s ministry in creating Easter baskets for the children at the shelter. These two ladies even brought a team from their church and cooked all the residents’ breakfast.
When asked what she would say to others who are considering a volunteer opportunity at The Salvation Army:

Every time I have volunteered with the Salvation Army, God has provided an amazing experience. I can’t begin to tell you how volunteering with this organization has impacted my life. It humbles my heart, opens my eyes to the needs of those around me and fills my heart with overwhelming love and a desire to do more. I would encourage anyone who is considering volunteering to take the first step out on the water and get involved. There is such a fulfillment that comes from serving others.

Thank you Michelle Riley and Nicole Pascher for sharing your servant hearts with Oklahomans who are in need. We are so blessed to have you as a part of The Salvation Army.

61st National Salvation Army Week (NSAW) in Oklahoma City


For media inquiries, contact: Maegan Dunn, Development Marketing Manager, 918-527-8802,

Donors, Volunteers and Beneficaries to be Recognized During 61st
National Salvation Army Week in Oklahoma City

(Oklahoma City, Okla.) May 7, 2014–-The Salvation Army will celebrate its 61th annual National Salvation Army Week next week May 11-17 by sharing stories of volunteers and community partnerships that are making a difference in the lives of Oklahomans. Events locally and across country will highlight the importance of Americans giving back to their local communities to support their neighbors in need at a time when many families and individuals continue to struggle to make ends meet. The very first National Salvation Army Week was declared by President Dwight D. Eisenhower between November 18 and December 4, 1954 as a reminder to Americans that they should give freely of themselves.

“There are Oklahomans in need every day of the year and we are here to serve them,” said Captain Carlyle Gargis, Area Commander at Central Oklahoma Area Command. “National Salvation Army Week gives us an opportunity to celebrate the community’s partnership with us and shine a light on the ongoing needs.

In Central Oklahoma, Salvation Army Week will be recognized with stories of our amazing volunteers and community partners. Each day of Salvation Army Week, a story highlighting a volunteer or corporate partner will be shared on our social media and website. You can find us at,, and

Since 1889 when The Salvation Army began its social service work in Oklahoma City, the organization has grown into one of the largest social service providers in the country, directly supporting nearly 30 million Americans each year and more than 139,000 in Central Oklahoma alone, through a variety of programs. Programs include two emergency shelters, five senior centers, a food pantry, Red Shield Kitchen, a Boys and Girls Club, two community churches and three social service centers.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower declared the first National Salvation Army Week in 1954, proclaiming, “Among Americans, The Salvation Army has long been a symbol of wholehearted dedication to the cause of brotherhood. In time of war, the men and women of this organization have brought to those serving their country far from home, friendliness and warm concern.  In the quieter days of peace, their work has been a constant reminder to us all that each of us is neighbor and kin to all Americans, giving freely of themselves, the men and women of The Salvation Army have won the respect of all.”

Though the dates have changed since the first National Salvation Army Week, the work of The Salvation Army has not changed. More information about The Salvation Army’s service programs in Central Oklahoma is available online at

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination. Nearly 33 million Americans, and of which 139,000 Oklahomans, receive assistance from The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. About 82 cents of every dollar raised is used to support those services in nearly 9,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to

4-29-14 The Salvation Army of Arkansas-Oklahoma Ready for Tornado Response

SA-2line-AOK-vector copy

For media inquiries: Cindy Fuller, Public Information Officer, 405-830-6549

The Salvation Army of Arkansas-Oklahoma Ready for Tornado Response

April 29, 2014 – Oklahoma City, OK   – The Salvation Army completed its first 24 hours of emergency disaster response for the Central Arkansas area hit by the tornadoes Sunday night. Initially, two mobile feeding units were deployed throughout the area feeding and hydrating survivors. Since early Monday morning, The Salvation Army has provided 566 prepared meals, 1,362 drinks and 540 snacks.

On Tuesday, The Salvation Army will deploy six canteens to the following locations:

•    West Little Rock – Kanis Command Post, 34106 Kanis Road
•    Vilonia – Dollar General Store, 1100 Main Street
•    Mayflower – Mayflower City Hall, 2 Ashmore Street
•    2 roving canteens servicing affected areas in Vilonia
•    1 roving canteen serving affected area in Mayflower

  • Monetary donations are the most critical need as supplies and personnel are mobilized.
  • Donors are encouraged to give online at or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).
  • You can also text the word “STORM” to 80888 to make a $10 donation through your mobile phone; to confirm your gift, respond with the word “Yes.”*
  • Donations in the form of checks designated to Tornado Relief may also be mailed to:
    The Salvation Army Disaster Relief
    P.O. Box 1959
    Atlanta, GA 30301

Updates will be provided as more information becomes available. Please follow us at,,,, for additional information.

Contact: Cindy Fuller, Mobile: 405-830-6549
Office:  405-254-1156

About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar spent is used to carry out those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to