Thursday, December 23, 2010

One Volunteer's Experience

Merry Eve of Christmas Eve, everyone!

It’s been exactly one year since I volunteered with The Salvation Army over Christmas, and the experience is still as rewarding as ever. On Monday, I helped with Christmas distribution of Angel Tree presents, food baskets, and Toys for Tots. More than 7,000 Angel Tree gifts were donated and distributed, and more than 3,500 families were blessed with food baskets to supply their family with enough food to last them one week.

Every year, distribution is one of the events The Salvation Army organizes to help provide for thousands of Tulsa families during Christmas. Angels are chosen off of the tree, Tulsans go out shopping, toys are dropped off and sorted, food baskets are packed, and families come to get presents for their kids. Without the volunteers, the companies who donate the food, and the Tulsans who pick Angels off of the tree, none of it could be possible.

It is so cool to see the smiles on parent’s faces when they receive presents, stocking stuffers, and a Christmas dinner for their family. Without everyone stepping up and giving their time, many in Tulsa would go without. One of the best quotes of the entire weekend was from a mother, “I get all of this food? All of it? All of it is for me?” And she only received all of it, because of The Salvation Army and its volunteers.

So thank you, Tulsa ! I want to extend a sincere thanks to everyone who came out to help. And I’m sure all of the parents who are wrapping presents and preparing Christmas dinner would say the same.

I made a quick video from distribution, so you can see the behind the scenes like I did.

Happy Holidays,

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Half Krugerrand Found in Tulsa Kettle

A gold half Krugerrand was found yesterday in a Salvation Army kettle.The coin, made of a half ounce of gold, is valued at $680. The kettle was located at at Reasor’s Foods at 15th and Lewis. Up until last year, a Krugerrand (an African coin made of an ounce of gold) was dropped in a Salvation Army kettle in Tulsa for the last 15 years. No one ever identified the person who contributed the Krugerrands.  Last year, it was found in a kettle in Oklahoma City.

This coin was different from former Krugerrands given in Tulsa in that it was wrapped in a paper with “Merry Christmas” at the top, and typewritten lines from “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens underneath. In past years, the Krugerrand  has  been wrapped in a dollar bill.

“We are thankful to whoever the generous peron is who gave us the half Krugerrand, because every year Tulsans watch for it to appear in a kettle. But we are also thankful to every person who drops a coin or bill in the kettle,” said Major Williams. The Salvation Army bought gifts and food for 3,500 Tulsa families with contributions from the kettles and Angel Trees this year.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Thank you Monte Cassino

We are so thankful for the 6th grade students at Monte Cassino who raised $12,000 to spend on angels from our Angel Tree.  The kids even did the shopping themselves, amazing.

Check out this great story from the Tulsa World.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cowboys & Mustangs Go to Orlando

1. Families, friends and supporters gave The Mabee Red Shield 6th Grade Cowboys and North Mabee 5th Grade Mustangs a great send off to the AYF National Championship Games in Orlando.
2. Three generations of the Hobson family.
3. Mabee Red Shield girls made signs.
4. Some parents and siblings rode the bus to Orlando with their star athlete.
5. John Williams, Sr. and his son Jayson are taking the trip with Sixth Grade Cowboy Jonathan Williams. Other parents drove and flew to Orlando.
6. Mrs. Jo Bright, left, director of the North Mabee club, sent tutor Peggy Newsome so the athletes could keep up with their school work.

7. There were some excited boys on this bus.
8. Spirits were high among (clockwise from top) Joshua Dunbar, Jaylen Johnson, Jerrmain Moore and Tre-vion Folks, North Mabee 5th Grade Mustangs.
 9.The bus driver was a good match for the teams - she said she had driven a school bus for 8 years before working for the bus line.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Stuff the KHITS RV with Toy!

Thursday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mikey B. with KHITS Morning Show will park their RV in the Owasso Walmart parking lot to make it really easy for shoppers to put a toy in the Stuff the KHITS RV promotion. Friday, Nard & Smigga will ask drivers, shoppers and anyone near the Tulsa Walmart at 66th & Memorial to stop and drop off a new, unwrapped toy. This is KHITS’ way of helping ensure that all the kids whose parents have signed up for Christmas assistance get what they want on Christmas morning! The Salvation Army will help an estimated 7,000 kids, so please Stop ‘n Stuff – we need all the toys we can get! 


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Angel Trees Go Up at Malls- Thank You Promenade & Woodland Hills!

As the race to buy Christmas presents takes off, shoppers at Promenade Mall and Woodland Hills Mall will notice Salvation Army Angel Trees have gone up. Approximately 3,500 families have registered to receive Christmas assistance through the Salvation Army and adopting a person from an Angel Tree ensures that the children or senior citizen who have signed up will get what they’ve requested. Shoppers can ‘adopt’ an angel by stopping at an Angel Tree and talking to a volunteer about the age and gender of the person they want to adopt. Then they buy the gifts requested on the Angel tag and take them back to the mall by Dec. 13. Along with the Angel gifts, the Salvation Army gives the families groceries that will feed a family of four about a week. Our generous, long time Angel Tree media sponsors are KOTV-Channel 6 and K95.5 FM radio.
KOTV’s Dick Farout takes the first tag off the tree at Promenade Mall.

The Salvation Army Brass Ensemble plays at the Woodland Hills Opening Ceremony.

Jim Carey of the Cash & Carey Show on K95.5 amuses his son by conducting the ensemble.

KOTV's LeAnne Taylor reads the tags of the two angels she and her son Nick have chosen, while Major Kathy Williams watches.

A couple gets help with deciding who they want to adopt from the Angel Tree.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Orlando, Here We Come!

Up to 50 football players from the Salvation Army North Mabee and Mabee Red Shield Boys & Girls Clubs will leave Fri., Dec. 3 for Orlando to play in the American Youth Football (AYF) national championship games. The teams, the Fifth Grade North Mabee Mustangs and the Sixth Grade Mabee Red Shield Cowboys, are the league’s regional champions.

The kids will have a send-off ceremony starting at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the North Mabee Boys & Girls Club, according to Sam Berry, Athletic Director of the Mabee Red Shield Club. Monday, Coach Berry was interviewed about the teams and the upcoming trip on Sports Night with Mike Wolfe. The show will air today through Friday at 6:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Jerome Smith, Director of the Mabee Red Shield club and volunteer Coach Philip Abode from the North Mabee Club will be with the kids on the trip. Other volunteer coaches, parents and team supporters are driving and flying to Orlando to be with the kids. They have all worked hard raising the $10,000 needed to fund the trip. The national championship games will end Fri., Dec. 10 and the kids will come home Sat., Dec. 11. While in Orlando, the Mabee Red Shield Cowboys  will go to Disney World and Universal Studios and the North Mabee Mustangs will see an Orlando Magic basketball game and go to Universal Studios.

Way to go, Mustangs and Cowboys! Have an unforgettably great time – you deserve it!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving Dinner Enjoyed at Center of Hope

Nearly ninety volunteers served traditional Thanksgiving dinners to 550 guests at the Center of Hope from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving. One family volunteer group, all wearing humorous Thanksgiving hats, said they volunteered because they recently lost a family member who had been helped by the Salvation Army after returning from the Vietnam war. All of the volunteers brought plates of food, iced tea and desserts to the guests, many of whom were homeless. Guests seemed to enjoy the large meal, especially having a choice between four kinds of pies. In the lobby of the Center of Hope, volunteers handed out winter hats, gloves and bags of candy to guests after they ate. Rhonda McDaniel, TSA Volunteer Coordinator, said “This event was a success because of our dedicated volunteers. Thank you Tulsa!”  The dinner was covered by KOKI-Fox 23, KJRH-Channel 2 and KXAP Teletul Channel 51. 


Friday, November 19, 2010

Bellringing Kickoff 2010

Yesterday was the kick-off for the 2010 bellringing/red kettle season. Below are a few photos from the official kick-off event at the Reasor's in Jenks.  The goal was passed to Major Williams by members of the Jenks HS football team and a representative from Reasor's was there to announce they would be matching up to $7,500 raised in kettles at their locations on Thursday. 

Have you already seen bellringers this year? Did you know our goal this year is $565,000? We will make it happen a nickel and a dime at a time! Can't find a bellringer? Text "JOY" to 85944 to make a one-time $10 donation. Standard messaging rates apply.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


No plans on Saturday night? Help fight hunger and see some great rodeo action! 

WHEN: Sat., Nov. 20, Barrel Racing starts at 2 p.m., Rough Stock starts at 7 p.m.

WHAT: Rodeo to help the Salvation Army feed needy families

Bridle Creek Rodeo Ranch & Resort, 5315 Roper Road, Sperry OK 74073

COST: Tickets $7, get in for $5 if you bring a can of food

Wild Horse Racing, Women's Steer Saddling, Bareback Riding, Ranch Bronc Riding

SPONSORS:  Bridle Creek Horse Ranch & Resort, Thermal Specialties, Monkey Bizness Salon

FOOD DISTRIBUTION: The Salvation Army and Osage Oaks Church in Sperry

DETAILS: Silent auction that's open until 9 p.m.

BJ Fifer 918-693-1532

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Two Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club football teams have won the American Youth Football Conference (AYFC) of Oklahoma  League  Championships and are heading to Orlando, Florida Dec. 4 – 10 to play in the AYFC  national championship competition.

The Sixth Grade Mabee Red Shield Cowboys completed their third year of championships on Saturday with a 34 to 6 win over the Muskogee Real Deal. Mabee Red Shield Athletic Director Sam Berry said the sixth grade team has had one core group since the fourth grade, which has helped them perfect their skills, as well as the dedication of their four volunteer coaches: Bill Esmeyer, Robin Vann, Chris Cummings and Reginald Greenlee.

The North Mabee Fifth Grade Mustangs beat the Mabee Red Shield Cowboys 18 to 12 Saturday to pave their way to the nationals. They have won League championships for many years and are led by Coach Phillip and North Mabee Athletic Director Kenny King and volunteer coaches Phillip Abode, Phil Loftin, C. Hoffman, S. Breed and D. Taylor.

Saturday, a banquet to honor the Mabee Red Shield Cowboy, their coaches and parents, will be held at First Baptist Church at 1414 N. Greenwood Ave. From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., the Mighty Mites and Third Grade teams will be honored, and from  4 p.m. to 6 p.m., the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Grade teams will celebrate.

Members of both teams are raising money to pay for the trip to Orlando. The teams are selling Sonic Cards for $5 and have also scheduled two fundraising dinners at Mabee Red Shield. The first will be a steak dinner on Sat., Nov. 27. It will be $10 for adults and $5 for children aged 10 and under. Participants can pick up their meals at the club, 1231 N. Harvard, starting at 5 p.m.

A spaghetti dinner will be sold Tues., Nov. 30 for $7 a plate. The dinners can be picked up at Mabee Red Shield starting at 6 p.m. To reserve a dinner, call Jamie Diaz at 798-2091. Ms. Diaz is also taking calls for people or companies who would like to sponsor a team member to go to Orlando. 


Friday, November 12, 2010

Bark Park Toy Drive Tomorrow

The 2nd Annual Bark Park Toy Drive will be Sat.,Nov. 13 at the Joe Station Bark Park at 2279 Charles Page Blvd. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please bring new, unwrapped toys, gently used winter coats and canned food (and your favorite dog 4-legged friend). 

The Giant Red Kettle will be there as well as many generous dog owners. See you there!

If you are a Facebook member you can RSVP online here.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Broken Arrow Toy Run a Success

Special thanks to the more than 150 bikers that participated Sunday in the 9th Annual Broken Arrow Toy Run! More than 100 bikes created the line that started at Forest Ridge Golf and Country Club and ended at the Broken Arrow Boys & Girls Club where The Army provided a hot chili lunch for participants.  The meal was served by 60+ volunteers that helped set up following a morning bible lesson on being a servant, sign making & painting for the kids, and chili taste testing to make sure all was perfect for the bikers to eat.

One biker said, "It's a fast, yet totally fun ride that has the best purpose for the toys." 

Biker Groups that rode included: BACA (Bikers Against Child Abuse), Good Will Riders, Rolling Thunder (Coweta Chapter), Buffalo Motor Works, Green Country VRA

Special thanks to the generous donors who provided more than $1,100 in food and gift cards for participants: Ron's Chili, Ballroom Revolution, Frito Lay's, Wal-Mart, Buffalo Wild Wings, El Chico, Applebee's, Taco Bell, Taco Bueno, Warehouse Market, Rib Crib, Sonic, Sante Fe Cattle Co., and  Broken Arrow Lanes


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Red Kettle History

 It is really starting to feel like Christmas around the office this week! I thought I would take a few minutes to post about the history of the famous Salvation Army Red Kettle. I am so proud to be a part of the rich traditions of The Salvation Army and I can't wait to hear the bells ringing this year-that's how I know it's really Christmastime!

In 1891, Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee was distraught because so many poor individuals in San Francisco were going hungry. During the holiday season, he resolved to provide a free Christmas dinner for the destitute and poverty-stricken. He only had one major hurdle to overcome -- funding the project.

Where would the money come from, he wondered. He lay awake nights, worrying, thinking, praying about how he could find the funds to fulfill his commitment of feeding 1,000 of the city's poorest individuals on Christmas Day. As he pondered the issue, his thoughts drifted back to his sailor days in Liverpool, England. He remembered how at Stage Landing, where the boats came in, there was a large, iron kettle called "Simpson's Pot" into which passers-by tossed a coin or two to help the poor.

The next day Captain McFee placed a similar pot at the Oakland Ferry Landing at the foot of Market Street. Beside the pot, he placed a sign that read, "Keep the Pot Boiling." He soon had the money to see that the needy people were properly fed at Christmas.

Six years later, the kettle idea spread from the west coast to the Boston area. That year, the combined effort nationwide resulted in 150,000 Christmas dinners for the needy. In 1901, kettle contributions in New York City provided funds for the first mammoth sit-down dinner in Madison Square Garden, a custom that continued for many years. Today in the U.S., The Salvation Army assists more than four-and-a-half million people during the Thanksgiving and Christmas time periods.

Captain McFee's kettle idea launched a tradition that has spread not only throughout the United States, but all across the world. Kettles are now used in such distant lands as Korea, Japan, Chile and many European countries. Everywhere, public contributions to Salvation Army kettles enable the organization to continue its year-round efforts at helping those who would otherwise be forgotten.

Courtesy of TSA - DFW Metroplex

Thursday, November 4, 2010

9th Annual Broken Arrow Motorcycle Toy Run - This Weekend!

Please join us for the 9th Annual Broken Arrow Motorcycle Toy Run!

Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010

Please bring a new unwrapped toy!

Starts at 12:00p.m. at Forest Ridge Golf & Country Club, 7501 E. Kenosha 74014.  The ride begins at 1:00 p.m.

West on Kenosha to County Line, head North to 91st.  Take 91st West to The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club, 1400 West Washington St. (on 91st between Elm & Aspen).

Join us for chili after the ride!
For more information call 918-258-7545.

-Lt. Jamie Clay