Multiplie Locations Affected by Early Spring Storms

March 25, 2015 – Oklahoma City, OK – The Salvation Army of Arkansas and Oklahoma is becoming active in disaster response to several areas as a result of weather related events.  A strong storm system crossed Oklahoma and Arkansas this afternoon and evening that developed multiple thunderstorms and tornadoes.

OKLAHOMA
Major Carlyle Gargis, Central Oklahoma Area Commander, reports the Central Oklahoma Area Command mobile feeding unit (canteen) has been dispatched at the request of the City of Oklahoma City Emergency Manager.  It will set up in southwest Oklahoma City.  Additionally, the catering truck is being sent to Moore to assess the need for additional response.   This evening, snacks will be provided to responders as well as storm survivors.

Major James Taylor, Tulsa Metropolitan Area Commander, and Captain Ben Walters, Sand Springs, report the Tulsa Area Command canteen has deployed to River Oaks Mobile Home Park in Sand Springs, where an estimated 60 mobile homes were destroyed.   They are working closely with emergency management and serving first responders and disaster survivors.

ARKANSAS
Northwest Arkansas Area Command confirms there has been a tornado touch down.  Major NJ Pope reports they are in communication with the local Emergency Manager and on standby to support as requested by Emergency Management officials.

Donations are always needed to offset the costs of services to storm victims. Please visit: www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY to donate. All donations for disaster services will be used for the designated purpose.  Additional updates will be posted at www.twitter.com/SalArmyAOK, www.facebook.com/SalArmyAOK, and www.twitter.com/SalArmy AOKEDS.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar spent is used to carry out those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.

Salvation Army of Tulsa Responds to Tornadoes

Tulsa, OK  (March 25, 2015)  – Even as storms continue to hammer the area, The Salvation Army Tulsa Area Command is responding to damage reported in the Sand Springs area with a mobile feeding unit (canteen).

Multiple locations in the Tulsa metro area have sustained damage due to high winds, tornadoes, and hail which began a little after 5 PM Central Time this afternoon.  The Sand Springs area appears to have received the most damage.

The Salvation Army will be prepared to provide care and compassion to those affected by storms as well as provide food and hydration.   Please pray for all of those affected by the storms.

Monetary donations are the most critical need as supplies and personnel are mobilized.

• Donors are encouraged to give online at www.SalvationArmyUSA.org or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY FREE (1-800-725-2769 FREE).

• You can also text the word “TULSA” to 85944 to make a $10 donation through your mobile phone. Be sure to confirm your gift by responding with the word “Yes.”

• Donations in the form of checks designated to Sand Springs Tornado Relief may also be mailed to:

The Salvation Army
924 South Hudson
Tulsa, OK 74112

  • Non-perishable snacks and food items and bottled water may be donated by bringing these items to the Tulsa Area Command, 924 South Hudson, Tulsa, during regular business hours, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., beginning Thursday, March 26.

Updates will be provided as more information becomes available.  Please follow us at www.twitter.com/SalArmyTulsa and https://www.facebook.com/salarmytulsa for additional information.

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Comprised of nine local facilities, The Salvation Army Tulsa Area Command includes the Center of Hope shelter and social services center and six local Boys & Girls Clubs, including Broken Arrow. Our mission is to meet human needs of those who need it the most without discrimination. Help us support those in need with a text message, text TULSA to 85944 to make a $10 gift that will be used in the area with the most need.

Chickasha Angels see Great Support

Chk2With Christmas rapidly approaching, The Salvation Army is always blessed to be able to partner with many different individuals and organizations to ensure that no child is forgotten during the holiday. Recently, The Salvation Army of Chickasha was the recipient of many gifts for the 150 Angels in Grady & Caddo Counties.

The Bridge Creek Fire Department held a toy drive in which over 500 toys were collected and delivered to The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Toy Shop to be distributed this Christmas. The Chickasha Fire Department also collected over $500 to be used for Angel Tree gifts at The Salvation Army of Chickasha.

Chk1An anonymous donor dropped off 20 bicycles to the Angel Tree Toy Shop last week in hopes that every Angel who asked Santa for a bike might receive one. This generous donor has donated numerous bicycles during the holiday season every year for the past ten years.

If you would like to partner with The Salvation Army of Chickasha, please call (405) 224-5647. You can also donate to the Chickasha Online Red Kettle by clicking here.

Blessings in a Mason Jar

The #RedKettleReason campaign has brought public attention to many stories of why people give to The Salvation 20141210_180413Army at Christmas, but perhaps the most touching is a story of two young boys in Heber Springs, Arkansas. One evening, a gentleman approached the kettle van driver, holding a glass mason jar. Emotional, the man began to tell the driver a story which was about his son.

The man said his son worked in an oil field in Texas. He would work 28 days straight and then travel home for two weeks to spend time with family.  In early November 2014, his son began his journey home and fell asleep at the wheel. Tragically, he was killed in the accident.

The father goes on to share that every year around Christmas time, his son would go out and serve others, setting an example for his two young sons, ages 6 and 8, about giving and helping those in need. This year, he was going to serve by volunteering to ring the bell with his sons the weekend before Christmas. The man’s children were so excited to volunteer at the red kettle they began doing chores around the neighborhood, collecting money to jump start their kettle.  The boys worked hard collecting the money.  After their dad was killed, they worked even harder as a tribute to their father. 

Ending his emotional story, the man handed over the glass mason jar, filled with over 100 dollars in bills and coins.   Little did this father of two know the lesson he was teaching his two sons about giving back to the community would be instilled as a gift that would keep on giving.  The son’s legacy of giving back and serving others continues.

Christmas Bicycle Assembly Off to a Strong Start

10806488_10152811350786620_8121099312373668113_nBicycles are the most requested items that children in the Angel Tree program ask for during Christmastime, and every year The Salvation Army strives to make every wish come true. This past Saturday, the ‘elves’ were busy at work at the Plaza Mayor shopping center, assembling over 1000 bikes to fulfill the children’s wishes, purchased with the funds raised by The Salvation Army’s Women’s Auxiliary Buck$ 4 Bikes campaign.

Volunteers began arriving at 8:30am, long before the scheduled check-in time, bringing a sense of excitement and joy to the task at hand.    It took a mere 3 hours for the 200 volunteers to assemble 1,010 bikes, and each bike was inspected by the mechanics from local cycle shops Al’s Bicycles and Schlegel’s Bikes. To complete the safe keeping of the gift recipients, the Oklahoma Bicycle Society purchased helmets for each bike that was assembled.

10359535_10152811350931620_4813677394346153166_n The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma is grateful for the generous donors who gave over $41,000 to the Buck$ 4 Bikes campaign, allowing over 1000 children to receive a brand new bicycle this Christmas. We would also like to extend a special thank you to our volunteers and local bicycle stores and organizations that ensure that the bikes given this Christmas are safe and secure.

2014 Christmas Kickoff in Central Oklahoma

OKC2On Thursday, November 13th, The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma officially kicked off their Red Kettle & Angel Tree season at Quail Springs Mall in Oklahoma City. Joined by KFOR’s Kevin Ogle and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s mascot Rumble The Bison and Thunder Girls, the iconic sound of The Salvation Army bell rung out for the first time, signifying the kettles were officially open.

In his opening remarks, Kevin Ogle announced that The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma is expecting to fill over 5000 angels this Christmas season, and invited the public to adopt an Angel off of the trees when they’re out shopping for friends and loved ones. Leading by example, Ogle proceeded to adopt the first Angel of the season.
OKC1With Angel Tree locations at both Quail Springs and Penn Square Mall, the Salvation Army will also have an Angel Tree set up at the outdoor Outlet Shoppes of Oklahoma City, providing opportunities for residents of Central Oklahoma to adopt an angel no matter what part of town they reside in. The 2014 Angel Tree adoptions will end on December 11th, ensuring that families of adopted Angels have plenty of time to pick up their gifts and get them under the Christmas tree.

OKC3
For more information on The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma, including volunteer opportunities, visit them online at www.salvationarmyokcac.org or call 405-246-1100.

Arkansas Distaster Response: 6 Months Later

Story by Cindy Fuller

The Salvation Army has transitioned from response to intermediate and long term recovery following the April tornadoes affecting Northeast Oklahoma and Central Arkansas communities.  Immediately following the storms, The Salvation Army mobilized personnel and equipment for immediate needs.  Teams provided food, hydration and emotional and spiritual care to survivors and first responders.

The transition to long term recovery occurs as many have received the emergency assistance needed in the immediate days after the tornadoes and are beginning the next steps of recovery and rebuilding their lives.  The Salvation Army has been in Arkansas and Oklahoma for over 100 years and will continue to support the community in the future.

The Salvation Army provided the following during its emergency disaster response phase:

  • 7,711 meals served to survivors and first responders
  • 11,660 drinks and snacks served
  • Emotional and spiritual care to individuals
  • 1,898 hours of employee and volunteer service
  • $37,000 in Gift Cards were distributed as emergency assistance to 711 Individuals (248 Families) in Arkansas
  • $20,000 in Gift Cards were distributed as emergency assistance to 284 Individuals (92 Families) in Oklahoma

Major David Robinson states “The Salvation Army Corps and Command in Central Arkansas stepped in to provide emergency disaster services while continuing to assist our day to day clients in need. The Salvation Army will continue to serve our neighbors impacted by the tornadoes as participants in the long term recovery process.”

The Salvation Army has spent more than $150,000 on the initial emergency response to the tornadoes and on providing emergency assistance to the disaster’s survivors. An additional $250,000 has been allocated to support long term recovery efforts. The Salvation Army continues to work together with partner agencies and the communities affected to support those impacted by the April tornadoes. The on-going assistance provided by The Salvation Army will occur through the long term recovery case management process. While needs may change, The Salvation Army is committed to being involved for the long haul.

Long term recovery works to meet unmet disaster-related needs, such as housing repairs, relocation costs, furniture and appliance replacement, medical expenses, and more. Each long term recovery case involves case managers working with the disaster survivors to identify their specific unmet needs to connect them with community resources.  For recovery assistance, please call the Inter-Faith & Partners Disaster Recovery Alliance. The alliance is providing assistance to those impacted, in coordination with the Vilonia Disaster Recovery Alliance and the Faulkner County Long Term Recovery Board. The number is 501-205-6873. The Salvation Army is working with disaster clients through the Inter-Faith & Partners Disaster Recovery Alliance.

Fayetteville Youth Participate in ‘Super’ VBS Event

FayVBS1The Salvation Army of Fayetteville, Arkansas recently hosted it’s Vacation Bible School for the youth of the Corps. An outlet to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the young people of Northwest Arkansas, the week long event featured faith based skits and teachings and musical worship.

On opening night, Corps Officer Lt. Josh Robinett presented a skit. In the story, two superheroes became stuck in quicksand. Once the heroes were freed from their entrapment, one superhero took decided to take credit for their rescue for himself, while the other superhero point out that without the grace of God, they could not have been saved. The presentation was an opportunity for the youth to hear the gospel message in a creative and entertaining way. FayVBS2

The event also gave the kids the chance to participate in games where prizes were awarded to those who participated. An array of snacks and drinks were also provided to the 70-80 youth who visited the Fayetteville Corps each night.

For more information on the youth programs of the Fayetteville Corps, call (479) 521-2151.

Canteen Ministry Launches in Stillwater

On the outskirts of Stillwater lies a neighborhood that is notoriously impoverished. There are not many homes within it, and its residents are in need of various types of assistance. Here, The Salvation Army of Stillwater was able to serve the needs of their own community. This neighborhood, which was suggested by the Homeless Caseworker of Stillwater Public Schools, was recently treated to an evening of food and emotional care.

The corps officers, Captains Knott, along with two advisory board members, loaded up the canteen and set up within the neighborhood, ready to serve those who approached. Each family who visited the canteen received a box with enough food to provide a feast. Inside the food box was a frozen chicken, corn, green beans, macaroni and cheese, baked beans and pumpkin pie, along with a box of cereal for the family to serve breakfast in the morning. While receiving the boxes, families with children were encouraged to sign their children up for the “Dress For Success” program, which provides back-to-school clothing at no cost.

Stillwater had been looking to re-launch its canteen ministries, but until recently did not have a canteen that was adequate enough to handle the program. Now able to drive through Stillwater with a recently refurbished canteen, Captain Patrisha Knott says that “serving this neighborhood is the perfect opportunity to engage the community through our canteen ministry.”

Car-Mart Delivers an Unexpected Surprise in Lawton

The Salvation Army is often the recipient of many unexpected surprises, and on July 2nd, Lt. Israel Roseno, corps officer in Lawton, Oklahoma, got a phone call that truly was a ‘breath of fresh air’. On the other end of the phone was Car-Mart, who told Lt. Roseno that they had recently held a box fan drive and that The Salvation Army was chosen as the beneficiary of the donations.

LawtonBodyExcited and grateful for their generous donation, Lt. Roseno got into a truck and headed down to the Car-Mart dealership to pick up the box fans. When he arrived, over 25 box fans were outside waiting to be loaded into the vehicle.

“This donation will allow us to extend our fan services for those dealing with high temperatures in their homes,” Lt. Roseno remarked on the acceptance of the fans. “Thank you Car-Mart for being a shield against the heat!”

The box fans will be distributed throughout the upcoming summer months, when people in Oklahoma are finding themselves in dire need of a cool air source, but cannot afford to pay the high price of running an air conditioner. For more information about how the fans will be distributed, please contact The Salvation Army of Lawton at (580) 355-1802.