The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma saw a tremendous outpouring of support to its Red Kettle campaign and Angel Tree program. Despite having less locations than previous years, the kettle campaign raised a total of $450,390.47 in Canadian, Cleveland and Oklahoma counties.

“This Christmas, the community really stepped up to meet the needs of our families and generously gave to the Red Kettle,” said Major Stephen Ellis, area commander at The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma. “We offered a variety of ways to give this year and ensured our bell ringers practiced safety precautions while engaging in ringing in the most joyous of seasons. We are thankful for the support of our donors and for the prayers of many as we navigated a new fundraising landscape with this activity”.

The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program and Red Kettle campaign would not have been a success without the help of the 1,587 volunteers who served during November and December, contributing approximately 4,000 hours.

Volunteers were crucial to meeting the needs of households seeking assistance through The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree. The Angel Tree program provided 2,301 children and 520 seniors with Christmas gifts donated by the Central Oklahoma community.

“Many families and seniors were struggling in response to the economic climate in 2020 and sought The Salvation Army to help provide Christmas for their children and/or themselves. Our community became a beacon of hope and exhibited the true Oklahoma Standard by putting others needs before themselves,” said Major Susan Ellis, area commander. “Things were a little different with Angel Tree participation but I can truly say that this did not stop the generosity. We want to publicly thank Quail Springs Mall, Sam’s Club # 6267, Walmart # 212, and Walmart # 2734 for hosting an Angel Tree this year for the general public to visit and adopt angels from”.

This year Big Red Sports/Imports generously adopted 200 angels in Cleveland County. “We are humbled and extremely thankful to the team at Big Red for giving back to our community in such a meaningful way,” said Major Ben Walters, corps officer for The Salvation Army of Cleveland County. “The partnership with Big Red Sports/Imports means so much to us and to the many families who benefited from this generous act”.

It was not just individuals who stepped up to help The Salvation Army meet this increased need. Paycom and its employees once again exceeded their previous red kettle gift with a donation of $100,000, holding on to the record for the largest contribution to the red kettle in Oklahoma City. Many corporate partners participated in the Angel Tree program by hosting Angel Trees at their places of business or virtually for their employees. “We wish to thank our partners who raised a hand to say ‘We want to participate once again in helping rescue Christmas for our neighbors in need’,” said Major Susan Ellis. “Their faithful support means so much to us and helps us fulfill the numerous Christmas wishes we receive each year”. Many new businesses participated this year including Accident Care & Treatment Center, the City of Oklahoma City, Flywheel Energy, Grant Thornton LLP, Guthrie Territorial Christmas Foundation, Johnson & Associates Inc., Massey Services, Miller Architects Inc, and Oklahoma Commons Building. Returning partners for the Corporate Angel Tree program included Ascension Lutheran, Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc., Baker Hughes, Ben E. Keith Foods, Christ’s Legacy Church, Continental Resources, Enable Midstream Partners, Express Services Inc., Jasco Products, Mary’s Maid Service Inc., Metal Container, Northrop Grumman, Oklahoma Farm Bureau, OU School of Nursing, Oklahoma Water Resources Board, Price Edwards & Company, and World Water Works Inc.

“The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma is still here and has remained on the front lines throughout the pandemic to serve the community in which we operate,” said Major Stephen Ellis. “There are more demands than we can meet on our own but with the community’s continued support, together we are able to be there to set a course for transformed lives year round throughout our numerous programs in Canadian, Cleveland and Oklahoma counties”.

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