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.”