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: www.helpsalvationarmy.org
  • 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: https://disaster.salvationarmyusa.org/

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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 InspiringHope2020.org 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 salvationarmyOKCAC.org.

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The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma Hosting Annual Inspiring Hope Fundraiser

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK  — The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma’s Advisory Board and Community Relations & Development Committee invite you to support the ministry of The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma from your couch or office chair. Why not redirect the money you would have earmarked to attend an event by donating to this alternative fundraiser? The goal for the annual fundraiser is $200,000 and runs from August 1 – August 30.

“The Salvation Army is not new to service during pandemics, having been around since 1865,” said Ryan Frace, chairman of the advisory board. “Ministry was just as important then as it is now. Individuals are in need of solace, compassion, and someone to talk to as isolation can be overwhelming. The Salvation Army has not paused in its service to the community”.

The Salvation Army’s feeding programs remain up and running, the emergency shelter is still providing rooms for men, women and families who find themselves homeless, and The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club has been offering a safe place for youth of essential personnel to enjoy social interaction, music, and other creative arts throughout the day.

“We rely on friends who value and support our mission to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination,” said Traci Jinkens, director of development. “We ask the community to make a generous donation today to support The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma. Be assured that for every $1 donated, 82 cents goes directly into programs and services”.

Individuals wishing to contribute may do so online at InspiringHope2020.org or by mailing in a check to The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma, Attn: Inspiring Hope, 1001 N Pennsylvania Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK  73107.

“Our hope is the community rallies around this very important fundraiser and raises much needed funds to ensure everyone who needs help receives it, especially during the tumultuous times we find ourselves in with the novel coronavirus,” said Frace. “We are seeing many first-time clients seeking assistance and we want to do what we can with the resources we have been provided”.

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Home Energy Aid Fundraiser to Help Raise Funds for Oklahoma Families in Need

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma is pleased to announce its annual Home Energy Aid fundraiser with community partners Oklahoma Gas & Electric, Oklahoma Natural Gas and Public Service Company of Oklahoma will take place on Tuesday, July 21st at its 1001 N Pennsylvania Avenue, Oklahoma City location from 11:30am to 1pm.

“We are witnessing many individuals seeking utility assistance through The Salvation Army who have not needed assistance before,” said Major Susan Ellis, area commander. “Just within the last three weeks, 90% of those calling in to set up appointments with us are new clients. We want to help as many as we possibly can with the resources we have been provided”.

Tickets are being sold in advance and day of the event. For a $8.00 ticket, individuals will be treated to a fresh-grilled hamburger, chips, cookie and drink. “This year’s event will be different from past years in that we will be hosting this fundraiser as a drive-through,” said Ellis. “Individuals wishing to support this event may do so by entering our campus off of NW 10th street and our volunteers will serve them and practice the appropriate safety measures to ensure proper hygiene and social distancing”.

All monies raised will be matched 1:1 up to $6,000 thanks to OG&E, ONG, and PSO.

“This event allows us to raise much needed funds to meet the ongoing need for assistance,” said Traci Jinkens, director of development. “Donations and sponsorships of this event will be directed right back into the utility assistance programs. We wish to thank Frontier State Bank for their event sponsorship and for Crest Foods of Edmond for their donation of food and beverages”.

For more information about utility assistance, contact The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma at 405-246-1100. To purchase a ticket online or to make a gift, please go to salvationarmyokcac.org or call the Development Department at 405-246-1109.

The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club Providing Childcare

How to Give Hope to Millions of Americans Impacted by COVID-19

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – On Tuesday, May 5, The Salvation Army and Candace Cameron Bure are asking people to join the Fight for Good by providing hope and help to those impacted by the coronavirus. For millions of Americans experiencing urgent need, The Salvation Army is their first stop for help. In response to this pandemic, The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma has been providing food, safe shelter, and emotional and spiritual support; as well as youth programs, financial assistance and hygiene kits across Canadian, Cleveland and Oklahoma counties. With increased demand for aid expected to continue over the coming weeks, months, and potentially years, ongoing public support will be needed to ensure basic necessities are fulfilled with compassion and dignity.

Although this is an unprecedented time in our history, facing stark realities is not new for The Salvation Army. Throughout its 155-year ministry, it has delivered programming rooted in hope, which is a critical component to overcoming adversity.

“We hope because we have learned that though it’s dark, the dawn is coming,” said Major Stephen Ellis, area commander for The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma. “We hope because after the storm, the rescuers rise up. We hope, because though we are hard-pressed, we are not overcome.”

The Greatest Need, Now

A $25 gift of hope will ensure Americans in need have access to 10 meals, immediately. A $25 monthly gift will help provide meals during months when food insecurity is already great. To donate, visit SalvationArmyUSA.org.

The Greatest Hope, Now

“Find a way to share hope,” said Ellis. “Find a way to give others a hand up out of the despair that many are driven to in these troubled times”.

If you’re unable to make a monetary donation or would like to do more on Giving Tuesday Now, The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma encourages us to share hope, together. The goal is to bring our nation together in sending comforting thoughts to those who are struggling, praying for those serving on the front lines, and directing messages of hope to those in need. There are three ways to get involved:

  1. From May 4-5, visit The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma on Facebook @SalArmyCentralOK or Instagram @SalArmyCentralOK to post a comment, or simply share your message of hope and encouragement by tagging #10MinutesOfHope.
  2. On May 5, join the Fight for Good Ambassador – actress, executive producer and New York Times best-selling author Candace Cameron Bure – as she calls for messages of hope on her social media channels.
  3. OnMay 5 at 7:30 p.m. CT, take 10 minutes out of your day for hope:
    • Read positive stories with your family
    • Share thoughts or prayers for those in need
    • Watch The Salvation Army’s Facebook Live video (@SalvationArmyUSA) for spiritual guidance

 If you or someone you know needs hope, call the Hope Hotline at 1-844-458-HOPE (4673), open from 8 a.m. to midnight, or visitwww.salvationarmyusa.org to find your local Salvation Army.

National Fundraiser to Take Place on April 21, 2020

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK  — The Salvation Army will be taking part in #GiveFromHomeDay on April 21, 2020. This national fundraising drive puts the power of giving into the hands of Americans who are anxious to help neighbors and strangers alike who struggle with the economic and health impacts of the new coronavirus (COVID-19).

With people out of work, small businesses closed, schools shut down, and seniors more isolated than ever, the concept of helping our neighbors and communities has been brought to the forefront of social conversation.

Sadly, at the same time, nonprofits like The Salvation Army have experienced a sudden and deep drop in funding as events have been canceled and the attention of loyal donors has been pulled away to other urgent personal concerns.

But for the people who rely on The Salvation Army, their needs have only increased. Furthermore, the number of new people being served is growing every day. Regardless of the pandemic, the need for assistance has not gone away. Funding is urgently needed to continue:

  • Feeding programs
  • Emergency shelter
  • Utility assistance
  • Hygiene/comfort kits

“Though this is an unprecedented situation for all of us, it’s impact will be on the most vulnerable such as homeless and low-income individuals and families,” said Major Stephen Ellis, area commander for The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma.  “Thousands of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and will likely be heavily affected by these uncertain times. The Salvation Army is committed to serving those in the most need through our programs in Canadian, Cleveland and Oklahoma counties.”

The pandemic has made millions of Americans reliant on — and increasingly skilled at —  the technologies that are connecting us. #GiveFromHomeDay on April 21 will focus attention on the act of giving and helping fellow Americans in the age of COVID-19.

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The Salvation Army Adapting Programs to Meet the Needs of Community

Oklahoma City, OK – The Salvation Army continues its services in Central Oklahoma without interruption except where required to avoid congregating. In order to ensure social distancing and reduce spread of the COVID-19 virus, beginning on Monday, April 13th The Salvation Army is requesting individuals residing in Oklahoma County who need assistance to call its main line at 405-246-1100 to make an appointment.

“We are so thankful to support from the United Way of Central Oklahoma, Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and our local utility partners,” said Major Stephen Ellis, area commander. “We want to ensure our neighbors in need have the resources they require any day of the year…even more so now with the state of emergency we are all facing”.

About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit SalvationArmyUSA.org. Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood

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