Posts Tagged ‘helping’

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May 14-20 is  National Salvation Army Week, and we in Central Oklahoma celebrate the  important work that our volunteers contribute each and every day.

In the spirit of “Doing the Most Good,” The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma asks, “How do you do the most good?”

Share your story about how you help your community. We want to hear from supporters, volunteers,  employees, and fans and followers on social media about how you volunteer and help  your communities. You can send a photo or make a video or share your story on how YOU do the most good.

If you’ve ever wanted to make a difference, now is your chance. We’ve got a few ideas on how to get started, including:

* When you buy in bulk, share your surplus by dropping off any non-perishable food item to your local Salvation Army.

* Bring flowers to work and share them with your coworkers.

* Volunteer to be a tutor in a Salvation Army after-school program.

* Join The Salvation Army in their visits to sing to seniors and residents of nursing homes.

* Offer a couple of hours of baby-sitting service to friends and family.

* Have a Salvation Army Doing the Most Good Day at work, with employees bringing nonperishable food and toys to donate to the charity.

* Pay a compliment to someone at least once a day.

* Call or visit a housebound person or older relative.

* Volunteer at your local Salvation Army Center.

* Give the gift of your smile to everyone you meet.

* Do the WRITE thing by sending a few kind words and a cookie or two to our soldiers overseas, especially on May 19, 2012, which is Armed Forces Day.

* Tell your husband/wife or children why you love them.

* Give your stuff a second life by donating old clothes to The Salvation Army Family and Thrift Stores.

* Tell your coworkers that you think they’re doing a good job.

* Give new toys or books to children at a Salvation Army shelter.

* For one week, act on every single thought of generosity that comes in your heart. Notice what happens.

* Say thank you.

* While in a restaurant, pay for the meals at another table. Instruct the waitress to give you that table’s check, quietly without notice.

* Cut someone’s grass or weed or plant flowers in someone’s garden.

* Drop off a bag of groceries on someone’s doorstep.

* Go to a nursing home and bring an anonymous bouquet of flowers. Visit the Warr Acres Senior Center at noon this Wednesday and join the residents for an ice-cream social.

* Put quarters in expired or about-to-be-expired parking meters.

Take pictures of “Doing the Most Good” this week and post them to our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Salvation-Army-Oklahoma-City/111677641619 or on twitter at @salvationarmyok.

Happy NATIONAL SALVATION ARMY WEEK!

To donate, call 1-800-Sal-Army or visit www.salvationarmyusa.org

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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!

On Thanksgiving morning, nearly 1,200 people line the sidewalk in front of The Coca-Cola Event Center in Oklahoma City in the chilly air for one reason only – to eat.

The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command hosts a city-wide Thanksgiving breakfast every year for those who have no families or no place to go on the holiday. Hundreds of volunteers help serve a traditional breakfast to those who attend, but The Salvation Army also provides groceries every day, every month to families who are in distress.

In 2010-11, The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma handed out 27,289 grocery orders to families who could not afford to buy food that month. Senior citizens and the disabled come to The Salvation Army on Fridays to receive sustaining food.

As you can imagine, that’s a lot of groceries that we hand out throughout the year. But, the holidays pose a unique challenge. How can a family working several jobs and still struggling to pay the bills afford a holiday meal like turkey, stuffing and all the fixings?

By partnerships with you and with local businesses. Honeysuckle White through Cargill Meats provided vouchers for 150 turkeys, The House FM is holding a series of events in Oklahoma City called Turkey 4 Tunes, Exclusive Wireless is collecting non-perishable food and citizens like you are collecting food for charity as well.

How do you know what to give though? The Salvation Army Charitable food drives can include food donations, household items and pet products. Knowing some of the common guidelines and restrictions of food pantries can help you make the most of your donation. 

Ideas for Food Items:

· We respectively request donations of nutritious food that are shelf stable, no fresh or frozen, like:

* Canned or dried fruit and vegetables

* Canned tomotoes and pasta sauce

* Shelf stable fruit cups and juice boxes

* Protein sources like canned or dried beans, canned meats, peanut butter and nuts

* Whole grain food items like whole grain pasta, whole grain crackers, oatmeal, cereals, brown rice and other useful foods like canned stew, canned or box soups, dry milk and baby food.

 Ideas for Household Goods

· We also accept basic household items. Frequently needed bathroom items include toilet paper, shampoo, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes. Other useful household items include dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent and dish soap.

 Potential Restrictions

· Food pantries have different guidelines for what they will accept. Some only accept food, while others will also accept non food items. The Salvation Army will not accept over-the-counter medications, vitamins, herbal supplements or recently expired food.

Tips for Shopping

 · There are several ways to make your hard earned money go further. First, buy in quantity, but not in bulk. Warehouse stores have good values when you buy large quantities, but a 128 oz. can of diced tomatoes is too much for one family. Try buying a 10 pack of 14 oz. tomatoes instead. Second, buy nutritious foods. Snack foods don’t provide many nutrients; fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains are better choices. Finally, buy generic. For the most part, generic and store brands of foods and household goods have the same ingredients as name brands, but they are much cheaper – sometimes less than half the price.

To host your own food drive, call The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma at 405-246-1100.