Archive for April, 2011

This morning, The Salvation Army served 500 hot meals in front of the Vilonia High School to first responders and community members affected by the tornado that hit Vilonia, Ark.

 “We cooked eggs and sausage in our mobile canteen and served the first responders here, and volunteers loaded up their cars to deliver meals throughout the community,” said Major Jim Taylor, Salvation Army Central Arkansas Area Commander.

 After breakfast, the canteen unit relocated to theVilonia Senior Center parking lot to begin preparing lunch. About 20 volunteers from the community began making peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. TheVilonia High School donated burger patties, hot dogs, nachos and cheese. US Foods has donated buns and condiments, and Lake Ice out of Searcy has donated 30 bags of ice to the effort.

For additional information, contact Major Jim Taylor: 501-580-4949 or


The Arkansas-Oklahoma Division of The Salvation Army continues to respond to multiple sites where assistance has been requested to help with disaster response, including last week’s tornadoes and the fires that continue through this week.

 The following is a brief summary on each site:

Tushka, Oklahoma – The Salvation Army continues to provide meals, drinks and comfort to the victims and responders in Tushka, which was hit last week by a tornado. On Sunday, April 12, The Salvation Army AOK provided more than 199 meals, 636 drinks and 112 snacks. The canteen closed for Sunday evening but reopened Monday morning for service

Water, Gatorade, and Coffee are being served as well as providing cases of water to those affected by the tornado as well as first responders which include State and Local Emergency Managers, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Fire, Sherriff and Police Departments, State Health Department and others.

Lawton, Oklahoma – Four Salvation Army officers and six volunteers provided water and sandwiches to firefighters at the Lawton Fire Service at Trail Road in Comanche County. Captain Hull arrived on the scene to assist the fire service responding to multiple grass fires in the area. On Sunday, the Salvation Army served 110 sandwiches, 268 snacks and 315 drinks to firefighters in that Area.

Velma and Orr, Oklahoma – The Salvation Army Arkansas-Oklahoma Division also responded to the wildfires in Velma and Orr, serving 250 meals, 333 drinks and 118 snacks in Velma as well as 150 meals, 208 drinks and 74 snacks in Orr to first responders and firefighters.

Financial donations are needed to support disaster relief efforts.  The Salvation Army asks those who want to help to visit or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY and designate AOK Division April Storms.  Monetary donations will ensure The Salvation Army can meet the most immediate needs of those impacted by disaster.  Donations can also be mailed to:  The Salvation Army,PO Box 12600,Oklahoma City,OK 73157.

 The Salvation Army of Ardmore, Oklahoma arrived at 1 a.m. this morning in the town of Tushka, Oklahoma where a devastating tornado caused tremendous damage and fatalities.  The Salvation Army is coordinating efforts with Emergency Management and other responders to ensure the need is met.

Captain Rick Swartz fromMcAlester, as well as the mobile feeding unit and trailer from Ardmore, provided food, drinks and comfort following the tornado.  Additional shifts will relieve those who worked through the night.   Approximately 200 persons were served sandwiches, hot and cold drinks and snacks throughout the evening and today.

Incident Commander Major Jeff Daniel reports extensive damage from the severe storm in the area. “We will be on the scene as long as necessary to make sure the needs are being met,” he said. 

Other Salvation Army teams are being contacted to set up relief teams and bring in additional units if needed.

Financial donations are needed to support disaster relief efforts.  The Salvation Army asks those who want to help to visit or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY and designate AOK Division Tushka Tornado.  Monetary donations will ensure The Salvation Army can meet the most immediate needs of those impacted by disaster.  Donations can also be mailed to:  The Salvation Army,PO Box 1482,Ardmore,OK 73402.

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

Oklahomans Against Trafficking of Humans (OATH) Conference to expose problem of labor, sex trafficking in state

Texas and Oklahoma are in the middle of a growing problem of labor and sexual trafficking. In Oklahoma, a variety of victims, the youngest of whom are children, are currently forced or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation.

On April 13, concerned citizens and members of Oklahoma law enforcement, the legal system and social service agencies can learn more about human trafficking at the Oklahoma Human Trafficking Conference “Oklahoma Impact,” to be held at Moore Technology Conference Center, 13301 S Pennsylvania Ave., Oklahoma City.

On April 14, the conference will be held in Tulsa at Tulsa Location: Northeastern State University (NSU) B.A. Campus, 3100 East New Orleans, Broken Arrow.

April 8 is the final day to register online. However, participants can also register at the door on the day of the conference.

Online Registration until April 8 is $70, or $45 for full time students and pre-paid OATH Website-registered members. At the door registration is $75.

Register online at or by mailing a check to: OATH, P.O. Box 65, Oklahoma City, 73101.

The conference will provide detailed information about labor and sexual exploitation by experienced professionals concerning the many facets of human trafficking within U.S. borders and the state of Oklahoma. Speakers include former victims of human trafficking, trafficking victims’ shelter directors, human trafficking task force members and law enforcement experts.

 This is a one-day training conference on the issues of human trafficking for professionals to get their CEU’s and learn how to identify possible trafficking victims, how to report, how to interdict, how to care for victims, how to get justice and how to get their Agency or Organization involved in making a difference right here in Oklahoma.

Individuals, business leaders and church staff are encouraged to attend the General Public Track where they will receive awareness information so that they can learn to identify possible victims and discover what their church can do to help make our communities a safe place for these survivors.


Oklahomans Against Trafficking Humans is a non-profit NGO dedicated to increase awareness of human trafficking, to identify victims, and work collaboratively with our partners to provide comprehensive services to identified victims in Oklahoma





Speakers will include:

Vander Kolk Group Trauma Specialist, Project REACH, Cynthia Kennedy

Joy Friedman – Programs Director, Breaking Free, St.Paul MN

Lt. Doug Kimberlin – OCPD Investigator, VICE Unit

Christina Misner-Pollard – OCU Law Clinic

Cathy Olberding – OJA Trauma Focused Services

Kristen Frost – HHS Human Trafficking Program Specialist

Mark Elam – OATH Coalition Director

Scott Whelan – USCIS Adjudication Officer

Les Kerr – LECC for US Attorney, Western District of Missouri

Wende Baker – FBI Victims Specialist, Kansas City Div.

Gwen Downing – ODMHSAS Trauma Informed Services

James Walker – Youth Services, Tulsa Director

Kirsta Melton – ADA Bexar County, Special Prosecutor

Elizabeth McCormick – TU Law Clinic

Debbie Forshee – Youth Services, OKC Director

Joe Otrhalek, ICE Special Agent, Trafficking Investigations

Joy friedman – Trafficking Survivor

Jeannetta Taylor – Trafficking Survivor