Archive for the ‘News’ Category

The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command, No Boundaries and JohnTV brought hope to an area of Oklahoma City known as “the Blaze” by local women and girls that are trafficked for prostitution.

Gangs, drugs and pimps have brought a cloud of fear and discouragement to this community on South Robinson, and The Salvation Army is reaching out to the citizens of that area, as well as those being prostituted, to offer hope, support, friendship and aid.

The Block Party, held April 28, brought over 300 neighbors to Draper Park and featured face painting, games, music and fun for adults, kids, families and the whole community. Participants said this was their first block party ever to be held in this neighborhood, and organizations brought information about domestic violence, human trafficking and more.

“We are a friend to the community,” said Major Francina Proctor of The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command. “We want everyone to know they can turn to us for friendship and help should they need to.”

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Even as some rebuilding begins and clean-up continues, The Salvation Army’s commitment to the residents of Woodward,Oklahoma is going strong. 

An F-3 tornado caused damage to many homes and businesses just one week ago.  The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management reports 224 homes were affected with 73 destroyed and 13 with major damage.  Unfortunately, a request for a federal disaster declaration from the White House was denied.

The Salvation Army is currently in the Multi-Agency Resource Center, located at the First Baptist Church, 202 E Hanks Trail in Woodward.  The center is open seven days a week.  The Salvation Army is providing emergency assistance to households affected by the tornado to help meet their immediate needs. 

The mobile feeding unit provided 1,804 meals, 1,787 snacks and 2,123 beverages while it was active.  Also, due to the generosity of viewers of KFOR (Channel 4) in Oklahoma City, The Salvation Army’s Central Oklahoma Area Command delivered a trailer full of supplies to Woodward Emergency Management.  The supplies were delivered at their request and included items such as leather gloves, tarps, garbage bags and more.

Emotional and spiritual care has been a large part of The Salvation Army’s response.  Led by Captain John Dancer, Enid Salvation Army, a total of 269 contacts were made to affected individuals.  Many of these persons are dealing with the loss of loved ones killed in the tornado. 

The Salvation Army continues to work with our Oklahoma VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster) partners and state/local government to coordinate efforts in Woodward.  The Salvation Army has committed to participate in the unmet needs committee for needs identified through the long-term recovery case management process that is being established.

The impact of this storm will continue to be felt by those affected.  The best way to help survivors and relief workers is to make a financial contribution. Monetary donations allow disaster responders to meet the specific needs of disaster survivors. 

Locally, in Woodward, only monetary donations are being accepted. 

Checks may be mailed to PO Box 542, Woodward, OK  73802 or dropped off at The Salvation Army located at 1209 9th Street.  Checks are to be made out to The Salvation Army of Woodward /EllisCounty. 

All donations made for the disaster will go directly to those affected in the area.  All funds collected will be designated towards this particular disaster.   The Salvation Army’s office in Woodward may be reached at 580-256-1083.

The Salvation Army also provides online means for people who want to help those affected by disaster.  Visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769.)   Designate “Woodward” when making your donation.  For the latest emergency disaster services news, please visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org and follow the latest updates on Twitter @SalArmyEDS, @SalArmyAOKEDS, and @SalArmyAOK.  Interested parties may also visit www.salvationarmyaok.org and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SalArmyAOK.

 The Salvation Army of Enid, Oklahoma is responding to the tornadoes that brought devastation across the community of Woodward, Oklahoma.

The Salvation Army is offering food and hydration, emotional and spiritual care as relief, recovery and clean-up efforts are underway in the area. Close to 400 meals, as well as several hundred snacks, and cases of water were provided. 

In addition, work gloves and hand sanitizer were provided.  Especially touching were the stuffed turtles which were hand-made by the youngest church members of The Salvation Army inEnidand handed out to the “youngest” of those affected by the storms.

“We are out doing what The Salvation Army does best, providing hope, healing, and help in time of need,” states Salvation Army of Enid’s Commanding officer, John Dancer.  “We will continue doing the most good, meeting the needs of victims, emergency workers and those affected until we are no longer needed.”

The Salvation Army is also working closely with state and local emergency management officials as well as members of the Oklahoma Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) including American Red Cross, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, Free Will Baptists, United Methodist Volunteers inMission, and Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.  The Salvation Army is a member of Oklahoma VOAD which includes many others partners throughout the state.

The best way to help survivors and relief workers is to make a financial contribution. Monetary donations allow disaster responders to immediately meet the specific needs of disaster survivors. 

The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those affected by disaster to visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769.)   Designate “Oklahoma storms” when making your donation.  For the latest emergency disaster services news, please visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org and follow the latest updates on Twitter @SalArmyEDS, @SalArmyAOKEDS, and @SalArmyAOK.  Interested parties may also visit www.salvationarmyaok.org and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SalArmyAOK

Additional updates will be sent as new information becomes available.

 

Tickets are on sale and going fast for the Harlem Ambassadors celebrity basketball game April 23 at Del City High School in Del City.

The internationally-acclaimed Harlem Ambassadors will visit Oklahoma City for a game at on April 23 at Del City High School’s John Smith Fieldhouse, 1900 S. Sunnylane Rd. in Del City.

The Ambassadors will play against The Oklahoma City Lightning – a charity team featuring Oklahoma City’s favorite local celebrities and Coach Barry Switzer, to raise money for The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Boys & Girls Club’s education, sports, recreation, character development and arts programs at the club.

The Harlem Ambassadors offer a unique brand of Harlem-style basketball, featuring high-flying slam dunks, dazzling ball-handling tricks and hilarious comedy routines. The Ambassadors feature non-stop laughs and deliver a positive message for kids wherever the Ambassadors play.

“At our shows, we want the kids to know that they’re part of our team too,” Coach Ladè Majic said. “We invite as many kids as we can to come sit on the bench, have a front row seat during the show, and get involved in all of the fun stuff we do.”

The Ambassadors set themselves apart from other “Harlem-style” basketball teams by working with local not-for-profit and service organizations and holding Harlem Ambassadors shows as community fundraising events.

For Oklahoma City’s event the Ambassadors have partnered with The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Boys & Girls Club to help raise funds for the Boys & Girls Club programs.

Players on the Oklahoma City Lightning Team coached by Switzer include OU Football players, former OU stars, former NFL players, Rep. Richard Morrissette and local on-air talents.

“It feels good to be able to provide quality entertainment and create memories that the fans will take with them,” Moss explained. “We’re able to give even more when we can help provide funding for a Habitat for Humanity house or new computers for the school library, and that feels great.”

Tickets are $10 and available at The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club, 2808 SE 44th.

A limited number of special VIP tickets are $20. Call 246-1100 for tickets today.

Sponsors include Love’s Travel Stop, eTech Solutions, Sandridge Energy, Unlimited Storm Restoration, Renda Broadcasting, Who’s Your Buddy Cafe, Oklahoma Natural Gas and OG&E.

Want to be a part of a fun event that features a national basketball program and The Salvation Army? Volunteer to help out during the Harlem Ambassadors vs OKC Lightening charity basketball game on April 23 at the John Smith Fieldhouse in Del City.

This energetic, entertaining event pits the world-famous Harlem Ambassadors against local celebrity players in a hilarious game that will thrill the entire family. All proceeds benefit The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club.

The following volunteer positions are open:

Service Needed:

Ticket Sellers

Ticket Door Taker (adults)

Team Shop Seller (adults)

Concessions (adults)

Time Clock (adult)

Autograph session set up (adults)

 Hospitality Room (adult)

Dinner (adults)

Guest Greeters-Host

Programs Equipment/Supplies Runner for Megan

Runner for Tena

Runner for Myron

VIP ushers

Signage Volunteers-hanging signs

If you can help volunteer, please call Lois Green at 405-246-1101 or email at lois_green@uss.salvationarmy.org.

From Associated Press article:

A survey of Salvation Army youth programs in more than 80 cities shows more than eight in 10 programs saw increased demand from children and families in the past year as unemployment and funding cuts strained charities.

The survey released to The Associated Press found 56 percent of the charity’s youth programs – including camps, preschools, daycare and after-school programs – are operating at or beyond their capacity.

The report, “Growing Up in a Downturn,” also examined the Great Recession’s effect on youth programs since 2008. Since then, 41 percent of the programs have had to cut back services or close their doors because of insufficient funding. Sites in Los Angeles, Rockford, Ill., and Memphis, Tenn., were among those forced to scale back.

Salvation Army Commissioner William Roberts, the charity’s national commander, wrote in the report that the increasing demand shows parents across the country are facing daily questions about how to provide for their children when even social service programs have to make cuts.

“Should they spend their latest pay check on food or rent?” he wrote. “How can they spend time with their children while working two jobs?”

In raw numbers since 2008, attendance at Salvation Army daycare programs increased by more than 40,000 children. Overall, the charity has seen an increase in need across all of its programs. In 2010, it provided assistance to 30.2 million people in the U.S., compared with 28.9 million in 2007.

At the same time, giving to the Salvation Army has been strained in some hard-hit regions with the highest unemployment. Programs that had to cut back are serving 10 percent fewer youths than before the recession on average, the report found.

In 2011, a third of the charity’s youth programs saw a reduction in contributions. For another 31 percent of them, donations remained flat. The report says many programs will see similar pressures throughout 2012, even though giving to the Salvation Army’s popular red kettle campaign was up last year.

In Memphis, Tenn., a decline of about 15 percent in donations amounted to the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Maj. Mark Woodcock, the area commander, said he had to close the doors of a subsidized childcare center that served low-income families for more than 30 years to focus on the most critical priorities of feeding and sheltering people.

In the charity’s women’s shelter with a capacity of 120 beds, 70 of them will go to children as a result of the ongoing economic slump, he said. So the shelter also provides tutoring and oversight to make sure those children attend school regularly.

“A lot of times people feel that the face of homeless is that man they see on the street corner,” he said. “Really the true face of homelessness is children.”

The Memphis chapter will be able to add more programs for children later this year with the opening of a $31 million Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center. It’s one of 34 centers nationwide funded by a $1.6 billion gift from McDonald’s heiress Joan Kroc when she died in 2003.

Even with challenges, many of the charity’s youth programs had been able to redirect services and resources to meet growing demand, the report found. In some cases, they have expanded or opened new youth facilities during the downturn.

In Kerrville, Texas, youth services were maxed out at serving 43 students each day in after-school programs with a small facility in the town of about 23,000 people, said Salvation Army Capt. Brett Meredith. With the building of a new $32 million Kroc Community Center that opened in November 2010, it can serve 200 students daily with a complex that includes two pools, a fitness center, dance studio and gymnasium.

Even still, there is a waiting list for as many as 50 needy youth who want to join the center’s programs.

“The gift made all the difference in the world,” Meredith said. Without it, “we’d be the same place we were five years ago.”

This is the first time the charity has released its internal data on its youth programs. Officials said the report is meant to show the need for continued public support for children’s programs. The Alexandria, Va.-based Salvation Army ranks as the nation’s second-largest charity by contributions after the United Way.

Nationwide, Col. William Harfoot, the Salvation Army’s national chief secretary, said the increase in demand has been the most dramatic he’s seen in 35 years with the charity. Maintaining some youth programs that provide recreation and music or arts lessons, for instance, can prevent other problems like drug addiction and poverty, he said.

Most funding must be raised locally. Only a few national gifts, such as a $1 million donation from the Wal-Mart Foundation last year, are distributed to regional offices.

___

Salvation Army: http://www.salvationarmyusa.org

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It’s a beautiful week in Central Oklahoma with temperatures expected to hover right around a balmy 80 degrees all week long.

Don’t let the springtime sunshine fool you. Spring time can bring severe weather to Oklahoma. We often experience raging thunderstorms, hailstorms, tornadoes, wildfires and even earthquakes in our state.

The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command is a disaster response organization as well as a social services organization. When disaster strikes, we respond immediately with our emergency canteens to provide food, drinks, relief and spiritual care to those affected. We also provide long-term recovery assistance to those who lose so much during these disasters.

But, do you have a disaster plan in place for your family or business?  Creating one now when the weather is nice will ensure you and your loved ones will know what to do when a major incident occurs.

So, for your use, we’ve put together a short how-to on creating your own personal disaster plan:

ANY EMERGENCY

1. Make sure everyone in the family knows how to call 9-1-1. Let children use a toy phone to practice.

2. Make emergency cards for every member of the family, including a picture, age, full name, birth date, emergency phone number and alternate contacts besides parents. List any food or medicine allergies as well.

3. Identify a neighbor or friend who can watch your children in your absence in case of an emergency.

4. Always have a battery-operated radio and flashlight ready to go in case the electricity goes out.

5. Have a first aid kit stocked and ready. Make sure your family members know where it is and how to use the items inside.

6. Develop an emergency communication plan. If your family members are separated from one another, make sure you plan for getting back together.

7. Have an out-of-town relative or friend to be your “family contact.”  The contact should live outside the state because after a disaster, long distance calls are easier to make than a local call. Everyone must know the contact’s name, address, and phone number.

8. Pets are usually not permitted to be in shelters or places where food is served. Make a plan of where to take pets if you had to go to a public shelter where they are not permitted. Bring all pets into the house and confine them to one room, if you can. 

Fire:

1. PLEASE PLEASE make sure every room has a smoke detector and that batteries are changed twice a year.

2. Practice using the exits from the home with your children? You should have at least two separate exits and practice using both since a fire can block one exit. Have an identified location to meet in case family members are using different exits.

3. Once everyone is out, account for everyone. Make sure all family members are accounted for.

4. PRACTICE your fire drill once a month.

AFTER DISASTERS

1. Stay calm. Staying rational will help reduce delays or accidents.

2. Put your plan into play and listen to local radio or TV for news.

3. Make sure everyone is safe and uninjured. Get first aid or help for those who are injured.

4. Help others, especially elderly neighbors or those with disabilities.

5. If you go outdoors, wear sturdy shoes and clothing. Debris and sharp objects on the ground could pose a hazard. STAY AWAY FROM POWER LINES ON THE GROUND.

6. Check for damage on the home. Use flashlights if there is no electricity instead of candles, incase of a gas leak or fire danger.  Clean up hazardous spills immediately and check for fire and electrical hazards.

 

smile

Face it. We all have “bad days,” those days in which nothing goes right, we can’t shake the funk we are in and the nasty little voices in our heads keep picking on you.

Negative self-talk is a big problem on days like that. Negative talk is a smelly mix of half-truths, illogical ideas about yourself and distortions of reality. They are usually caused by negative emotions like fear, guilt, anxiety, pessimism and other destructive behaviors.

Sadly, for some of us, it has become our daily inner dialogue. You aren’t alone.

Luckily, replacing that negative self-talk with positive talk and a positive attitude is possible, but, like everything else, it’s something you have to work at every hour, every day.

While you do that, here are 8 ways to feel good instantly:

1. Do something to help another. It’s been proven that helping others is an instant mood booster that makes you feel worthwhile and happy. Whether it’s volunteering in The Salvation Army Food Pantry or Red Shield Kitchen, helping an elderly neighbor with shopping or even giving a stranger a hand, helping others makes you feel better about yourself.

2. SMILE. – Your body sees no difference in physical responses and emotion. For example, if you slouch, then you may feel a little less energetic than someone with good posture. On the same wavelength, if you smile – even if you don’t feel like it – your emotions respond. Your mood begins to improve. It’s a “fake it until you make it” approach that works.

3. Be Grateful. It’s prevent that those who take the time to be grateful for what they have lead happier, more satisfied lives. Every day, give thanks – and FEEL GRATEFUL – for at least five things. It can be as simple as “I’m grateful that I have hot water to shower with” or as grand as “I’m grateful for my children and the joy they bring.” Working here at The Salvation Army, we see so many who are lacking the basic necessities. I’m thankful I can afford food for my family, a roof over my head and the ability to help others – there’s a lot of folks who cannot say that.

4. DECIDE to be happy. Being happy is a conscious choice. It’s just as easy to be happy as it is to be unhappy. All it takes is a shift in perspective. Do whatever it takes to find your joy and then keep yourself there. The higher level of happiness you can create within you, the greater the change you will see in your life.

5. Move and Exercise. A quick pick me up is a brisk walk. Maybe a set of jumping jacks. Grab a yoga class. Play with your dog outside. Walk around your office building. Tumble around with a child. Moving and exercise do wonders to boost a mood.

6. Listen to upbeat and happy music. According to DiscoveryNews.com, listening to moving music causes the brain to release dopamine, a feel-good chemical. That’s why upbeat, happy music you love always gives you a boost of energy and joy.

7. Unclutter. Those piles of paperwork and dirty laundry can make a bad day feel even more frantic. Set an alarm for five minutes and clean up the space around you. Unclutter your area, and your mind follows suit. Having a manageable space can instantly make you more relaxed.

8. Breathe it in. When stressed or unhappy, take 10 minutes to focus on the feeling of deep breathing. Be aware of the air moving in and out of your chest. This creates a relaxation response in your body and slows the heart rate.

So, next time you are feeling bad or down in the dumps, take a moment to do one or all of these mood boosters. And remember, at The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command, we’d love to have your smiling face volunteering or donating with us!

Okay, so we got some snow here in Oklahoma City, and luckily, the morning drive wasn’t as bad as we all predicted.

Still, this brings up a good point about winter weather. Despite our relatively mild winter so far, we are seeing some freezing temperatures and some wet, icy precipitation. This is a good time to review some winter safety tips.

Also, please remember that The Salvation Army and KFOR-TV are partners in Warmth 4 Winter. If you know ANYONE who needs a coat, please send them to our Social Services Office at 501 S. Harvey. Just walk in and get a coat – no questions asked!

Also, our shelters are open to anyone needing relief from this winter weather. Our men’s shelter is located at 330 SW 4th St. or call 405-246-1080.

For the rest of us, here are some simple tips to stay safe in the cold:

* During a winter storm, stay inside. If you don’t have to go out, then don’t.

* Keep batteries, blankets and fresh water available in case of power outages or burst pipes.

* Be very careful using fireplaces or space heaters due to increased fire risks or carbon monoxide poisoning. Might be a good idea to invest in a carbon monoxide detector.

* When outside, keep your head covered. A great deal of body heat escapes from the head. Also, keep extremities like noses, ears and fingertips covered. These areas are most prone to frostbite.

* Be careful not to exert yourself outside. Shoveling snow or pushing a car or other similiar activities can increase your risk of heart attack in extreme cold.

* Check on elderly and disabled neighbors and friends. They too run a higher risk of injury in severe weather.

God bless everyone, and enjoy your winter safely!

Want to help? Donate at 1-800-SAL-ARMY or www.salvationarmyusa.org

 

On Monday, Jan. 30, the sizzle and spice of tacos filled The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma’s Red Shield Kitchen. More than 100 pounds of ground venison filled pans as large as a small cooler as Celebrity Chef Scott Leysath of the Sportsman Channel shows “Hunt Fish Cook” and “Dead Meat” prepared to serve 250 needy and homeless visitors something they’d rarely eat.

Sportsman Channel and Cox Communications teamed up to host a Hunt.Fish.Feed event in Oklahoma City at The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command.

 Special guest Scott Leysath of HuntFishCook prepared and served venison tacos.  Hunt.Fish.Feed., created by Sportsman Channel, is a unique outreach program that taps an underutilized food source—game meat and fish donated by sportsmen—to feed those struggling with hunger across America.  Oklahoma City’s event had 1,000 pounds of venison donated by local sportsman through the Mule Deer Foundation.  

“We are blessed and grateful to both the Sportsman Channel and Cox Communications for their outreach to citizens here inCentral Oklahomawho struggle daily with hunger,” said Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Commander Major Dan Proctor.

“Any donations of meat – especially those from our local game hunters – go a long way to helping us in our mission of ‘Doing the Most Good’ to those in the most need. We feed on average 80 to 300 people a day.”

Local taxidermist Terry’s Taxidermy donated the meat to us, and we wanted to share that processing of donated deer meat is only $20. All game meat that is processed through a USDA-licensed processor can be donated as an alternative meat source to local shelters.

So we had a party. A huge party. More than 200 visitors ate venison tacos to the sounds of The Salvation Army band. Cox volunteers served up the food, and Scott Leysath himself made those tacos some of the best we’ve ever tasted.

With that in mind, we thought we’d share the recipe with you guys! Enjoy:

VENISON TACOS

Serves 4

 2  tablespoons vegetable oil

1  cup onions, finely diced

1/2  cup bell pepper, seeded and finely diced

2  garlic cloves, minced

1  pound ground venison

1  14.5 ounce can diced tomato, with juice

3  tablespoons taco seasoning

1  tablespoon lime juice

3  tablespoons cilantro leaves, minced

8  warm flour or corn tortillas

1  cup shredded jack or cheddar cheese

1  cup tomato salsa

2  cups shredded lettuce or cabbage

 1.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onions, peppers and garlic until onions are translucent.  Add venison and cook until evenly browned. 

 2.  Add diced tomato and taco seasoning.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Stir in lime juice and cilantro leaves.

 3.  Spoon venison mixture into tortillas.  Top with cheese, salsa and lettuce or cabbage.

 Scott Leysath, The Sporting Chef, http://www.HuntFishCook.com