Archive for Central Oklahoma

Salvation Army Extends Deadline for Final Angel Tree Push


The Salvation Army is extending the deadline to return Angels to the Angel Trees at Penn Square and Quail Springs Malls until Thursday, December 15, 2016 at 7 p.m. As of today, almost 300 Angels have not been adopted off of the mall Angel Trees and more than 2,700 have not been returned with their gifts.

The Salvation Army needs your help to ensure no child is forgotten this Christmas. Stop by the Angel Tree at Penn Square or Quail Springs Mall before Dec. 15 and adopt an Angel from the tree. The gifts purchased for the children and seniors on the Angel Tree are often the only Christmas gifts they receive.

“Even though our Angels may never know where these gifts come from, the feeling they get on Christmas morning when they open their gifts will stay with them forever,” said Major Charlotte Gargis, associate area commander of The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma. “Once again we ask for the community’s help to make Christmas bright for families in need so no child or senior is forgotten.”

On average, 15 to 20 percent of Angels are not returned because they are lost or forgotten. The Salvation Army is in need of new clothing items and new, unwrapped toys to fill forgotten Angels, ages 6-14, this Christmas.

Toy and clothing donations may be brought to the mall Angel Trees or Plaza Mayor at the Crossroads, 7000 Crossroads Boulevard, Oklahoma City, OK 73149, until December 17 at 4 p.m. The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Workshop is located on the east side of the mall, in the space formerly occupied by Montgomery Wards.

The Angel Tree families will begin receiving their gifts on December 19 through December 22. Each family will collect their gifts as well as receive a box of food to prepare a Christmas meal.

For questions on how you can help ensure no child is forgotten this Christmas, please contact Major Gargis at 405-246-1113 or Your donation will bring hope to a family this Christmas.


Story of Hope – Diana

Diana, left, with Lois Deberry, executive director at The Salvation Army in El Reno, sitting on the couch she received.

Diana, left, with Lois Deberry, executive director at The Salvation Army in El Reno, sitting on the couch she received.

Walking into Diana’s home, you wouldn’t know that this woman had been put out on the street with none of her belongings just a few months prior. But when Lois DeBerry, executive director at The Salvation Army in El Reno, met Diana on Christmas Eve last year, all that was in the home was the quilt Diana slept on.

After visiting with Diana, Lois leapt into action contacting The Salvation Army’s Family Stores in Oklahoma City for items for Diana’s home and on December 26, Lois delivered a bedroom suite, couch and dining room table.

“They just kept moving it in and moving it in,” Diana explained with a smile. “I couldn’t believe it because I thought I was just getting a bed frame.”

Diana is grateful and amazed by the generosity she’s received in her short time in Oklahoma. Originally from Colorado, Diana came to live with her daughter. When the arrangement dissolved, Diana moved in with someone she thought was a friend.

After witnessing abuse in the house, Diana told her friend she was looking for another place to live and that’s when she was attacked. This woman threw Diana against the wall and as she escaped to her bedroom, the woman followed her and began strangling Diana. The woman’s grip loosed only when Diana dug her nails into the woman’s arms.

Diana quickly left the house and found help at Holy Trinity Church where the Father got her a room. She visited with Turning Point on available resources and her next steps. After getting her apartment, Diana’s caseworker contacted Lois. After recovering some of her belongings and receiving the furniture from The Salvation Army, Diana’s apartment has been turned into a home.

Diana has faced many challenges since coming to Oklahoma, including losing her dog to cancer, but she hasn’t lost her joy. Working on budgeting and her finances, Diana is looking forward to the opportunity to minister to others through the greeting cards she makes for the church and friends.

“I’ve tried not to worry about anything because I know God’s going to take care of me,” she said with that same smile. “He has His hand on me.”

(1/15/14) Christmas Successes at The Salvation Army

Christmas Distro - Panorama(cropped-small)

Oklahomans Are More Generous than Ever According to Average Daily Red Kettle Totals at
The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command

Oklahoma City, Okla. (January 15, 2014) – Central Oklahomans gave more each day in The Salvation Army Christmas Red Kettle than ever before. The average daily income for The Salvation Army Red Kettles in 2013 was more than $22,000 up from $17,000 in 2012.

“We are so grateful for Oklahomans who stepped up and gave during this season when we needed it the most,” says Captain Carlyle Gargis, Area Commander for The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command. “With less bell ringing days due to weather and a late Thanksgiving, we were praying for a miracle.”

2013 The Salvation Army Kettle Campaign
Central Oklahoma Area Command
Canadian County $29,327.44
Cleveland County $131,068.73
Oklahoma County $313,375.96
Paycom Donation $56,100.00 $3,330.00
Gold Coin and Trinkets $1,805.00
GRAND TOTAL $535,007.13

Last year, The Salvation Army had a total of 38 full bell ringing days. This year, only 24 full bell ringing days were available due to the harsh wintery weather conditions and a late Thanksgiving calendar date.

“The total raised for this year’s Central Oklahoma Area Command’s Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign is $535,007, and we are so grateful,” said Captain Gargis. “If we had the same time as last year to ring bells, we would have met, and even surpassed last year’s record-breaking campaign income of more than $600,000. Oklahomans were more generous than ever this Christmas!   These funds help us stock the organization’s food pantry, youth programs, outreach ministries, and other emergency needs.”

Oklahomans not only gave of their resources this year, they also gave of their time.   To provide Christmas assistance in 2013, the total number of volunteer hours required was 11,948, fulfilled by 4,553 volunteers.

Christmas Volunteers 2013
Volunteers 4,553
Volunteer Hours 11,948

The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program was able to assist more than 2,000 households, and 9,052 individuals.   Donations and funds raised were used to provide area families with a Christmas food box and gifts for children and seniors.

“This year, Oklahomans provided the finest, quality gifts ever,” said Captain Charlotte Gargis, Associate Area Commander.   “We have received an abundance of ‘thanks yous’ and hugs from families who experienced the joy of Christmas by your generosity.   Because of Oklahomans generosity this Christmas season, these funds will continue to meet on-going needs thoughout the year.   As we say, ‘Need knows no season. Please know that your giving was appreciated and truly made a difference this Christmas and beyond.   Thank you for remembering those who are lost, lonely and sometimes forgotten.”

Nearly 100 Red Kettle locations were set up at various Central Oklahoma area businesses to collect donations though December 24. Those locations included Homeland, Wal-mart, Hobby Lobby, Bass Pro Shops and more.

The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma provides services in three counties, including Oklahoma County, Cleveland County and Canadian County.

“The Salvation Army in Central Oklahoma is helping those in need, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day,” said Captain Carlyle Gargis.   “There are more demands than we can meet, but with the community’s continued support year round, we are able to provide relief from suffering and set a course for transformed lives.”

Highlights from this Christmas season are listed below:

  • The organization’s Angel Tree program served more than 2,000 households, and 9,052 individuals through the Christmas season.
  • KFOR ’s Kevin Ogle and OKC Thunder’s Rumble the Bison served as this year’s honorary Christmas chairs.
  • Quail Springs Mall hosted the Angel Tree and Kettle kickoff on November 15, 2013, with Kevin Ogle, Rumble the Bison and the Thunder Girls.
  • Downtown Rotary Club 29 had a full day of bell ringing booked for numerous locations, but was cancelled due to weather, so held a special monetary collection at their weekly luncheon.
  • An anonymous donor provided 170 Christmas hams.
  • The total number of volunteer hours in 2013 was 11,948.   The total number of volunteers in 2013 was 4,553.
  • American Fidelity hosted a canned food drive for Christmas season grocery orders.
  • The Salvation Army was able to assist more than 2,000 households, and 9,052 individuals.
  • HighMount Production LLC Christmas party at the Petroleum Club provided more than 500 toys for teenagers.
  • Brad Edwards’ Warmth 4 Winter Coat Drive Program in partnership with KFOR, South OKC Rotary, Paycom, Legacy Cleaners, Chesapeake and The Salvation Army has collected more than 4,000 coats and warm winter clothing for Oklahomans this winter.
    The Brad Edwards’ Warmth 4 Winter Holidazzle Coat Drive on Dec. 12, sponsored by Paycom and KFOR provided 71 coats, 8 scarves and 2 pairs of gloves. Additionally, Paycom collected 95 coats and South OKC Rotary delivered 135 coats from the collection boxes around Central Oklahoma.
  • Chesapeake’s Brad Edwards’ Warmth 4 Winter Coat Drive on Dec. 18, provided 286 coats, 63 scarves, 1,127 gloves (pairs), 1,184 hats, and various other warm clothing items.
  • Landmark Homes hosted their Thankmas party again at one of their model homes.   They collected food and more than 700 toys to benefit Angel Tree children.
  • McFarlin United Methodist Church in Norman sponsored several families, and took more than 50 angels to place on their Church Angel Tree.
  • The owners of the Sooner Bowl, the Haws family, and their friends gathered food, toys, and clothing for eight of our largest and most needy families.
  • The A. A. Vance family sponsored 100 angels, and purchased clothing and toys for them.
  • Express Personnel, Funk Companies and Smart Start provided about 1,000 toys in a Baron’s Hockey Team box truck.
  • Participated in The Fill the Truck Event at all Central Oklahoma Wal-Marts which collected toys to be used in the Angel Tree program.
  • 861 bicycles were distributed to children in need through Buck$ 4 Bikes.   214 volunteer bike assemblers including volunteers from Kiwanis Clubs, East Oklahoma County Rotary, N. Oklahoma City Rotary, Southern Nazarene University Men’s Soccer Team, Oklahoma Bike Society, Tinker Airmen and Church volunteers.   Two tractor trailers of bikes from Huffy. $4,200 freight donated by Total Transportation Resources to deliver the new bicycles from Huffy.
  • The Salvation Army celebrated Christmas morning with the shelter residents with gifts for 44 men, 14 women and 11 children.
  • Special thanks to the Reeves family and Bob Staples, for their help with the Cleveland County distribution center.   In addition, the University of Oklahoma donated the location.
  • Paycom ’s generous $56,100 employee and company match Christmas donation
  • The Thunder Toy drive on December 8 at the Chesapeake Arena provided 500 toys from the fans to be distributed to our Angel Tree families.
  • For the Angel Tree Participants, Feed the Children provided 1,800 Christmas meal and hygiene boxes, 400 Avon boxes for senior citizens Angel Tree recipients, and in Canadian County they provided 200 Christmas meal and hygiene boxes, and in Cleveland County, Feed the Children provided 250 Christmas meal and hygiene boxes.
  • Corporations who adopted Angel Tree families included:
    • The Chickasaw Nation Industries
    • Farmers Insurance
    • America Elite Mixed Martial Arts
    • Clearwater Paper OKC
    • The Addison Group
    • 405 Pride Bike Club
    • Aerospace Human Factors Research
    • Ben E Keith Foods
    • CAMERON Industries
    • CLS Plasma
    • Cole and Reed
    • Continental Resources Inc.
    • Department of Environmental Quality
    • Enable Midstream Partners/Enogex
    • Express Employment Professionals
    • GE Women’s Network-OKC Hub
    • HAC Inc. – Homeland
    • Mandy Haws, Sooner Bowling
    • Mary’s Maid Service Inc.
    • McFarlin United Methodist Church
    • Metro Transit
    • Northrop Grumman Corp.
    • Office of Acquisition FAA Aeronautical Center
    • Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation
    • Oklahoma Educational Television Authority – OETA
    • Platt College
    • Southeast High School JROTC
    • The Greens Country Club
    • Thom-Dobson-Womack , Inc.
    • And more!
  • Senior Christmas lunch served more than 500 seniors at The Salvation Army’s five Senior Center Christmas celebrations. Each senior also received a Disaster Readiness Bag which included a flashlight, batteries and first-aid kit.
  • Oklahoma City and Norman shelter guests, bell ringers and community were invited to participate in a Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at the Salvation Army locations and received 608 prayer requests and 122 professions of faith.