Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

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The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command’s annual Thanksgiving Holiday Brunch once again filled the hall of the Bricktown Coca-Cola Event Center with hundreds of hungry souls and generous volunteers to celebrate the fellowship of mankind.

Hope you enjoy the photos from this year’s event!

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.

 

The 2011 Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Christmas season kicks off this month not only with the Annual Red Kettle Campaign and Angel Tree program, but with a familiar “face” as well.

 Rumble the Bison, mascot for The Oklahoma City Thunder NBA team, is the honorary chair of The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma’s annual Christmas campaign. Fans can expect to see the bison ringing bells, hanging Angels on the Angel Tree and encouraging others to give.

 “Rumble is a beloved personality in Central Oklahomaand throughout the state. In addition, Rumble is famous for giving his time and talents to help better our community, so we invited him to be the face of the Christmas campaign this year,” said Area Commander Major Dan Proctor. “The honorary chair is chosen for his or her commitment to the community… I think it’s safe to say this is the first time a bison has been chosen.”

 As the honorary chair, Rumble will kick off  The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign at 10 a.m. Nov. 25 at the Norman Walmart on Interstate Dr., and will unveil this year’s Angel Tree at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 18 at Quail Springs Mall. In addition, he will be in all of The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma’s promotions for Christmas.

 “The Thunder is proud to continue its partnership with the Salvation Army. Together we will be able to touch the lives of thousands of Oklahomans during the holiday season. This year we are especially thrilled for Rumble to chair the prominent Red Kettle campaign,” said Thunder Director of Community Relations Christine Berney.

 Fans can keep track of Rumble throughout the campaign on his Facebook (rumblethebison) and twitter (@rumblethebison) page, Berney added.  

 Since his debut in 2009, Rumble the Bison has completed over 1,200 community appearances throughout the state of Oklahoma, averaging more than 400 a season. In addition to birthday parties, city parades and school visits, Rumble can be spotted supporting non-profit agencies across the state. He annually participates in Central Oklahoma’s Race for the Cure, the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon as Kids Chair, the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree launch and the United Way Campaign for Central Oklahoma.

 The Salvation Army uses Red Kettle donations for services to the Central Oklahoma area, capped off by its Christmas assistance program. Last year, Central Oklahomashoppers donated more than $430,000 to the Red Kettles, the most ever raised in the area.

 Throughout the past years, The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma continues in its mission of “Doing the Most Good” and has seen an increase in services. The Salvation Army depends upon Kettle donations and other fundraising efforts throughout the Christmas season to help feed, clothe and shelter people all year long. .

 The Salvation Army will once again provide toys and clothes to 2,000 families in Central Oklahoma through the Angel Tree program with Angel Trees located at both Penn Square and Quail Springs malls. Gifts are also given to nursing home residents.

 The Salvation Army and its officers are deeply committed to carrying out its ministry not only during the holiday season, but year round, said Major Proctor.

 “Although our visibility is more heightened during the holidays, it is important that the community knows that our programs are ongoing,” said Major Proctor.  “We all need to come together to revitalize and strengthen the core of our local community by ‘Doing the Most Good’ and offering support any way we can. Rumble also brings the community together, so he is a perfect fit for our Christmas outreach.”

 To volunteer to ring bells or for more information about Christmas programs and events planned by The Salvation Army, call Heide Brandes or Lois Green at 405-246-1100. Paid bell ringing positions are also available, although volunteers are preferred.