The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma 2020 Christmas Successes

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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The Salvation Army – More Ways to Give Than Ever Before!

Oklahoma City, OK (November 25, 2020) – As America moves toward becoming a cashless society, and in-person donation concerns remain during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma is making it easier than ever for donors to give back during the Christmas season.

In addition to the traditional red kettles and the familiar ringing bell, The Salvation Army has placed smart chips and QR codes on Red Kettle signs allowing shoppers to simply “bump” or scan their phones to make digital donations. Shoppers will be directed to a donation page that accepts Apple or Google payment options.

“We’re hoping that the addition of Apple Pay and Google Pay at each red kettle will make it even easier for donors to help The Salvation Army rescue Christmas this year,” said Lt. Jay Stegall of The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma 614 Corps. “As society continues to limit social interaction, and as fewer and fewer people carry cash, this is a great way for people to give”.

Another touchless way to donate this year is through the virtual kettle at “We’re asking people to visit that site, enter a donation amount, and you’re done. It’s as easy as that!” said Traci Jinkens, director of development, The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma.

Now in its 130th year, The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign is one of the oldest and largest charitable campaigns in the world. Every year, the campaign raises millions of dollars nationwide to provide toys for kids at Christmas, clothes and shelter for the homeless, food for the hungry, after-school programs for kids, and other services to America’s most vulnerable populations year-round.

“Lastly, we encourage everyone to help us fundraise,” said Jinkens. “We’re excited about this opportunity for our supporters to set up their very own virtual Salvation Army red kettle, either as an individual or as part of a team. Spread the word on social media and encourage your friends, family members, or coworkers to donate and help reach your fundraising goal. Visit and click on Start Your Own Kettle or join us as a bell ringer this holiday season”.

For more information about the Christmas programs of The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma, please call 405-246-1100 or visit


Angel Tree Warehouse Needs Volunteers

We are in need of volunteers to help sort, check lists, package, and other duties as assigned to help with our Angel Tree operations this year.

Location to be shared with approved volunteers.

The dates volunteers are needed span from December 1 – December 22 (no weekends).

There will be two shifts each day(only seven volunteers per shift):

  • 9am to noon
  • 1pm to 4pm

For more information and to sign up, please contact Liz Banks at 405-246-1107 or

Brad Edwards’ Warmth 4 Winter Campaign Kicks Off in a Big Way

We are very excited to share that our friends at Legacy Cleaners and Two Men and a Truck will be donating their time and services for this annual project which helps so many needy individuals in our community by providing a new, or gently used, coat.

Thank you to these companies who have stepped up to say “Yes, we want to be a part of this annual coat drive”.

  • Benjie Wechsler State Farm (213 S. Broadway, Edmond)
  • Brewer Carpet (801 W 15th Street, Edmond)
  • Brewer Carpet (10521 N May Avenue, Oklahoma City)
  • Brewer Carpet (8509 S I-35 Service Road, Oklahoma City)
  • Brewer Carpet (126-A W Main, Yukon)
  • Brewer Carpet (3101 N Van Buren, Enid)
  • Brewer Carpet (1506 E 6th Avenue, Stillwater)
  • CFCU (1201 W I-35 Frontage Road, Edmond)
  • CFCU (100 NE 150th Street, Edmond)
  • CFCU (1600 S Mustang Road, Yukon)
  • CFCU (4141 NW Expressway, Oklahoma City)
  • CFCU (520 SW 89th Street, Oklahoma City)
  • CFCU (427 NW 6th Street, Oklahoma City)
  • CFCU (3401 SW 104th Street, Oklahoma City)
  • CFCU (300 12th Avenue SE, Norman)
  • Floor Trader (1901 E Main, Weatherford)
  • Floor Trader (10601 Broadway Extension, Oklahoma City)
  • Floor Trader (300 S Portland, Oklahoma City)
  • Floor Trader (2702 Crossroads Drive, Ardmore)
  • Legacy Cleaners (4917 N. Western Ave., Oklahoma City)
  • Legacy Cleaners (1531 E. 2nd St. Edmond)
  • Legacy Cleaners (1201 NW 178th St. #125, Edmond)
  • Legacy Cleaners (1208 S. Broadway, Edmond)
  • Legacy Cleaners (805 W. Covell St., Edmond)
  • Legacy Cleaners (16504 N. May Ave., Edmond)
  • Jiffy Lube (130 E. 2nd Street, Edmond)
  • Jiffy Lube (2400 N. Meridian Avenue, Oklahoma City)
  • Jiffy Lube (9116 S. Western Avenue, Oklahoma City)
  • Jiffy Lube (7412 S. Pennsylvania Avenue, Oklahoma City)
  • Jiffy Lube (10900 N. May Avenue, Oklahoma City)
  • Jiffy Lube (5824 NW Expressway Street, Oklahoma City)
  • Jiffy Lube (1203 Alameda Street, Norman)
  • Jiffy Lube (1025 24th Avenue NW, Norman)
  • Uptown Cleaners (12101 N. MacArthur Blvd., Suite D, Oklahoma City)
  • Edward L. Gaylord Downtown YMCA (1 NW 4th Street, Oklahoma City)
  • YMCA Earlywine Park (11801 S. May Ave., Oklahoma City)
  • YMCA Midwest City (2817 N. Woodcrest Dr., Midwest City)
  • YMCA Mitch Park (2901 Marilyn Williams Dr., Edmond)
  • YMCA Rankin (1220 S. Rankin, Edmond)
  • YMCA North Side (10000 N. Pennsylvania Ave., Oklahoma City)
  • Bethany YMCA (3400 N. Mueller, Bethany)
  • Rockwell Plaza YMCA (8300 Glade Ave., Oklahoma City)
  • Warwick Dental (6928 NW 112th Street, Oklahoma City)

The coat drive will run through early March. If you are in need of a coat, please call The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma’s main line at 405-246-1100 to be placed on call back list for appointment. Thank you KFOR for this annual tradition being carried on to help our community. Together we are #DoingTheMostGood in Central Oklahoma.


The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma’s Angel Trees

Thank you so much for wanting to give back in this tremendous way! We have several locations across the metro for individuals to adopt angels from as well as toy drives helping provide toys for the forgotten angels this Christmas.

Those locations are as follows and operate within the hours of operation for that business:

Sooner Mall (in food court), 3301 W Main Street, Norman

Walmart, 333 N Interstate Drive, Norman

Walmart, 601 12th Avenue NE, Norman

For more information on the angel tree program, please contact us at 405-246-1100.

The Salvation Army Offering Many Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season

(November 13, 2020) – While some may think it is still a little early to unpack the holiday decorations, The Salvation Army has been hard at work, planning Christmas programs for several months. Now, as the red kettles will be making their appearance outside stores and Angel Trees are being set up, volunteers are needed to help ensure men, women and children in need throughout our community experience the joys of Christmas.

Volunteer as a Bell Ringer 

The Salvation Army needs volunteer bell ringers from November 24 to December 24, 2020, from 11:00 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. The annual Red Kettle Campaign is one of the Army’s primary fundraising efforts of the year. Every dollar collected in the red kettles support the wide range of services and programs provided throughout the year right here in Central Oklahoma, including feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, offering emergency financial assistance, providing toys to disadvantaged children, and hosting after-school programs.

For more than 100 years, The Salvation Army’s red kettles have been a symbol of good will during the holiday season. “We are excited to offer bell ringing opportunities for those who want to volunteer a few hours or adopt a day with family or friends,” said Liz Banks, volunteer coordinator. “We want to assure the general public we are abiding by the necessary safety precautions to keep, not only our volunteers safe, but also for those businesses who have permitted us to ring outside their storefronts this year”.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in addition to the implementation of basic safety procedures, all bell ringers will also be provided with daily PPE safety kits including a branded mask, disposable gloves, apron, and disinfectant. Strict safety protocols have been developed ensuring the health and safety of all potential donors and bell ringers.

Support the Angel Tree Program 

Through the generous support of community donors, The Salvation Army will provide gifts for thousands of children and seniors this year in Central Oklahoma. The Salvation Army will have several Angel Trees up across the metro for individuals to adopt angels from. Currently, Guthrie’s Territorial Christmas Foundation has a tree up in the Guthrie Tourism Office with angels ready to adopt and Sam’s Club #6267 located at 1117 W. I-35 Service Road in Edmond has a tree set up near their café. Beginning on Tuesday, November 17th, Angel Trees will be up at Quail Springs Mall (near Great American Cookie) and also at The Salvation Army Chesapeake Energy Center of Hope located at 1001 N Pennsylvania Avenue, Oklahoma City.

“We are really excited to have so many corporate partners who have raised their hands to say ‘yes’ we want to host an Angel Tree at our place of business,” said Traci Jinkens, director of development. “We want to publicly thank Accident Care & Treatment Center, LLC; Baker Hughes – OKC Supercenter; Ben E. Keith Foods; Christ’s Legacy Church; City of Oklahoma City; Continental Resources; Express Services, Inc.; Flywheel Energy; Grant Thornton, LLP; Guthrie Territorial Christmas Foundation; Jasco Products; LLR Concepts; Metal Container; Miller Architects, Inc.; Northrop Grumman; Oklahoma Water Resources Board; Price Edwards & Company; Sam’s Club # 6267; University of Oklahoma’s Accelerated Bachelor’s in Science of Nursing; and World Water Works, Inc. It truly takes an Army to help meet the needs of our community and we are thankful for their support”.

Volunteers can sign up online to ring a bell at or contact Liz Banks at 405-246-1107. For Angel Tree, please contact Traci Jinkens at 405-246-1109. To make a gift to support the red kettle campaign, go online to

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Overcoming Obstacles

“I was born in Sagamihara, Japan…my mother’s second miracle baby. I was raised in an Air Force family that moved quite often, ranging from 1 ½ years to 3 ½ years across the world and have lived through major earthquakes and typhoons,” said Jan Sherrill, graduate of the Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World program through The Salvation Army. “I came to Oklahoma in 1981 working at Tinker Air Force Base with my husband. A year later, after encountering many difficulties in the marriage, I found myself alone and struggling financially. This is when I turned to The Salvation Army for help.”

“Poverty occurs in all races and in all countries. There is not a clear-cut distinction on who it affects,” said Leona Chapman, director of social services of The Salvation Army of Cleveland County. “Getting Ahead allows participants an opportunity to understand their hidden rules of class in which they were raised and help reconfigure those rules to help them be successful at school, work and in the community”.

The initiative kicked off in the spring of 2014 in Norman, Oklahoma. Since that time, The Salvation Army of Cleveland County has witnessed nine graduations with a combined total of 63 graduates. The program itself consists of 16-20 classes and takes place over an 8-10-week timespan. Each session takes approximately 2 ½ hours. Co-facilitators lead the participants through the sessions, exercises and discussions.

Getting Ahead in a Just-Getting’-By World is offered twice a year, in the spring and in the fall,” said Beatrice Johnston, Bridging the Gap coordinator. “Each semester allows for a maximum of 12 participants, or investigators, in the program. An investigator is the participant. This terminology is critical for the participant to understand because she is actively committing to the investigative process of her life and the community”.

Sherrill signed up as an investigator in the spring 2020 program and quickly realized her life was very different. “I had regular daily, weekly and monthly activities, however when COVID-19 continued to spread so quickly, my own military background served me well with anticipation of what was about to occur and how to respond”.

“The spring 2020 semester offered many challenges to not only the investigators but to the co-facilitators as well,” said Johnston. “We had to learn how to continue the Getting Ahead classes to ensure investigators were moving forward in their coursework which meant learning how to do virtual sessions via Zoom at first and then transitioning over to Microsoft Teams. Not only did these present challenges, there were some amazing opportunities that took place. All of us learned about virtual etiquette and how this skill set will go a long way in the business sector, most importantly with job interviews”.

“This year has been about overcoming obstacles,” said Chapman. “We need to remove as many barriers as possible to go further in our lives, in our spiritual walk and in connecting with our community. Our investigators work through this process and set up goals”.

“My future goals have expanded. I want to continue to strive…to learn more about finances. I look forward to investing more in my everyday living. This course has helped me to stay focused on growth, health, and general well-being,” said Sherrill. “As a graduate and now an official alumnus of the program, I appreciate The Salvation Army and thank them for accommodating the 9th graduating class so graciously”.

The Salvation Army to Serve on the Front Lines

Oklahoma City, OK (September 1, 2020) – The Salvation Army will be busy serving those affected by Hurricane Laura.  Members of Emergency Disaster Response Teams from both Shawnee and Oklahoma City are headed to join other Salvation Army units in the Lake Charles, Louisiana area to serve meals as well as provide emotional and spiritual support.

Additionally, The Arkansas-Oklahoma Division is deploying personnel from Hot Springs, Little Rock, and Mountain Home, Arkansas as well as Enid, Oklahoma to support the ongoing disaster response efforts for those affected by Hurricane Laura.

The Salvation Army is already at work in many communities that found themselves in the path of the storm.  Water, food and shelter supplies have been staged and are being transported to the affected areas.  The following locations have each deployed a rapid response unit (like a catering truck):

  • Ardmore, Oklahoma
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Shawnee, Oklahoma

How People Can Help

A cash donation allows charitable relief agencies to use monetary contributions to purchase exactly what disaster survivors need.   Monetary contributions are also easy to get to the disaster area. Supplies can almost always be purchased locally at the disaster site and provide savings in multiple ways.  Money used to purchase needed items locally can support local and state economies, helping local businesses and workers, which have suffered losses in the wake of the disaster event.

It’s easy to support The Salvation Army’s disaster relief program:

  • Donate Online:
  • Donate by Mail: The Salvation Army PO BOX 1959, Atlanta, GA 30301                        

Please designate ‘Hurricane Laura’ on all checks.

  • Donate by Phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769)

For more information and updates about how The Salvation Army is responding to disaster efforts in Louisiana, please visit:

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Inspiring Hope Fundraiser Needs Your Help

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK  — The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma’s Advisory Board and Community Relations & Development Committee are excited to announce a matching gift they have set in the amount of $28,370. The goal for the annual fundraiser is $200,000 and runs through August 30.

“We are happy to share that we as a board have collectively raised these matching funds so for every additional $1 donated to this campaign, that gift will be doubled,” said Ryan Frace, chairman of the advisory board. “By contributing to this year’s fundraiser, individuals will see their support maximized”.

The Salvation Army continues to see neighbors in greater need of their services. This is where the charitable hearts of the community shines and rises up to help.

“We are thankful to those who have already given to support operations and programs,” said Traci Jinkens, director of development. “The deadline for giving to support this campaign is August 30th. Our team will host a big reveal the afternoon of August 31st to share with everyone how much has been raised towards the goal established”.

Individuals wishing to contribute to the fundraiser may do so online at or by mailing in a check to The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma, Attn: Inspiring Hope, 1001 N Pennsylvania Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK  73107.

“The Salvation Army has been working to ‘do the  most good’ from its most humble beginnings in east London in 1865,” said Frace. “Since that time, the world has suffered pandemics, wars, famine, unrest, natural disasters and through it all The Salvation Army keeps its focus on meeting the needs of people in the community without discrimination”.

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The Salvation Army Joins Forces With Walmart to “Stuff the Bus” for Kids in Need

(OKLAHOMA CITY, OK) – Walmart and The Salvation Army are teaming up to provide new school supplies to local children in need during the “Stuff the Bus” campaign event taking place Friday, August 7th through Sunday, August 9th at the following Walmart locations:

Walmart Supercenter # 544, 5401 Tinker Diagonal Street, Del City

Walmart Supercenter # 2803, 2200 W Danforth Road, Edmond

Walmart Supercenter # 277, 501 SW 19th Street, Moore

Walmart Supercenter # 212, 333 N Interstate Drive, Norman

Walmart Supercenter # 2734, 601 12th Avenue NE, Norman

Walmart Supercenter # 221, 1200 Garth Brooks Blvd, Yukon

For kids preparing for the upcoming school year, school supplies remain critical to their success. In light of COVID-19, The Salvation Army has adapted its services to ensure that children in every community can continue receiving the educational support they deserve. This year, the “Stuff the Bus” campaign event in Central Oklahoma is one of more than 4,500 similar events taking place at Walmart stores across the country. When shoppers visit Walmart this weekend, they can purchase and drop off items at collection bins located in the customer service area.

“There are many children in our communities whose parents will have to make the tough choice between school supplies, groceries, the electric bill or insurance,” said Major Susan Ellis, area commander for The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma. “We anticipate this number will increase significantly this year due to the novel coronavirus.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, The Salvation Army has provided more than 65 million meals through a combination of prepared meals and food boxes, 1.45 million nights of safe shelter, and emotional and spiritual support to more than 778,000 people, in addition to the financial assistance, hygiene kits, and youth programs the organization provides in almost every ZIP code in America.

Walmart and The Salvation Army have collaborated for more than 30 years in an effort to meet local community needs. Supporters like Walmart help The Salvation Army serve more than 23 million Americans each year through a range of social services that help them overcome poverty and economic hardships.

All donations made at “Stuff the Bus” campaign events will remain in the community to help The Salvation Army provide back-to-school support to local children in need.

To learn more and find out how you can get involved with your local Salvation Army, visit

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