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The Salvation Army is Love: Insights from an Advisory Council Member

I grew up with first-hand knowledge of the Salvation Army after being taken, along with my siblings, by the state and placed in our grandmother’s home. My grandmother was a supporter of The Salvation Army and had to rely upon its services to help clothe and feed us.

One way I decided to give back as I got older was by becoming an advisory council member of The Salvation Army of Cleveland County. I lived out of country for many of my adult years, so when we returned to Oklahoma I decided to get involved in volunteering to pay back the awesome care received as a child. I have been most surprised at the extent of homelessness and need in Cleveland County since becoming a council member.

Throughout my tenure serving on the council, I have enjoyed watching the programs grow, especially the Red Shield Club, working with the officers and staff, and being part of the progress over the last few years. The program The Salvation Army of Cleveland County offers I am most proud of is the Red Shield Club. If we care for the children and teach them to care for and respect others they will in turn provide for a better society as they become adults.

The one word that personifies The Salvation Army to me is LOVE… there is truly no discrimination towards any person in need! I wish that others knew about the commitment of the officers and staff to make Cleveland County a better place to live and raise a family.

Although my awesome siblings and I, nine brothers and two sisters, experienced a troublesome childhood, we all grew into caring, respectful and giving adults due to a Godly grandmother and thanks to the assistance provided by The Salvation Army! Together we are “Doing the Most Good” and I feel blessed to be involved with such a caring and generous organization serving the people in our community.

Betty Goss, Advisory Council Member
The Salvation Army of Cleveland County

To make a gift to support The Salvation Army’s many programs and services, please text HopeOKC to 41444 or go online https://app.mobilecause.com/form/drynoA

 

The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma 2016 Christmas Successes


The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command saw an increase in donations and households served in 2016 from the previous Christmas season. The Red Kettle campaign raised $606,657.61 in Oklahoma, Cleveland and Canadian Counties, an increase of 4.68 percent over the 2015 campaign. 
 
“This Christmas was our best season to date. Despite the challenges our economy faced in 2015, the community stepped up to meet the needs of our families and generously gave to the Red Kettle,” said Major Carlyle Gargis, area commander at The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma. “We are overwhelmed with joy and continue to offer up thanks to God for everyone who gave of their time, talent and treasure to help our neighbors in need.”
 
The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program and Red Kettle campaign would not have been a success without the help of the 2,737 volunteers who served 13,935 hours during November and December. 
 
These volunteer hours were crucial to meeting the 16.7 percent increase of households seeking assistance through The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree. The Angel Tree program provided 2,089 families with Christmas gifts and food donated by the Central Oklahoma community. 
 
“Though the need was greater, we trusted in God to make a way. This community became the hands and feet of Jesus through each doll, toy truck and bicycle they gave,” said Major Charlotte Gargis, associate area commander. “On behalf of all of our families, we say thank you.”
 
It wasn’t just individuals who stepped up to help The Salvation Army meet this increased need. Jasco Products and Express Employment Professionals committed to match their employee’s contributions dollar for dollar to the Angel Tree. Paycom and its employees once again exceeded their previous red kettle gift with a donation of $70,000, holding on to the record for the largest contribution to the red kettle in Oklahoma City. Additional corporate partners who made The Salvation Army’s Christmas a success were the Oklahoma City Thunder, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Oklahoma Gas and Electric, Chesapeake Energy Corporation, Enable Midstream Partners, KFOR-TV and iHeartMedia.
 
“The Salvation Army in Central Oklahoma keeps its doors open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to any in need,” said Major Carlyle Gargis. “There are more demands than we can meet on our own but with the community’s continued support, together we are able to provide relief from suffering and set a course for transformed lives year round.”