“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 lisa_sydnor@uss.salvationarmy.org. Donations for the seniors programs can be made at www.salvationarmyokcac.org 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 liz_banks@uss.salvationarmy.org 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 charlotte_gargis@uss.salvationarmy.org. 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.