Thursday, April 29, 2010

Broken Arrow BBQ Photos

Special thanks to everyone who joined our Broken Arrow staff for a great fundraiser last weekend! Can't wait until next year!

Teen Program Starts at North Mabee Boys & Girls Club

Things are looking up for teenagers at the North Mabee Boys & Girls Club. Director Jo Bright announced that for the first time in eight years North Mabee has started a program just for teens. Clinton McKinney, a former professional athlete, is leading the program. Clinton grew up in Miami, Florida and often visited his grandmother, Liza McKinney, in Tulsa during holidays and summers. Clinton played high school football and received a full football scholarship from Southern Nazarene College in Bethany. After graduation, he played arena football in Florida, then moved to Oklahoma to play for the Oklahoma City Yard Dawgs and the Oklahoma Thunder. He worked as a case manager for Youth Services in Tulsa before starting his job at North Mabee. The 27-year-old is married to Krista, a nurse, and the couple has two children, Clinton, Jr., six, and Mannie, two. 
“I want to be there for them to help them succeed. My family and coaches helped me and I want to give the same thing to these kids,” Clinton said. 
Photo: Teen Program Coordinator Clinton McKinney.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Salvation Army Week May 10-15

Note: This story is from our April e-newsletter.  Click here to sign up to get each issue in your email every month!

Between May 10 and 15, Salvation Army Corps, community centers, and other social service centers are celebrating National Salvation Army Week, an annual event across the United States.

Each community celebrates the week in different ways, but the mission remains the same: to share the story of The Salvation Army with our friends, family, and community members who know nothing, very little, or a lot about our history and services.

Below is some great information about our programs and services in Tulsa that we would love for you to know and share.

Tulsa Area Command operates six local Boys & Girls Clubs in Tulsa, Broken Arrow, Sand Springs and Sapulpa. Boys & Girls Clubs have a lineup of tested and proven nationally recognized programs that address today's most pressing youth issues, teaching young people the skills they need to succeed in life.  In 2009 we had nearly 268,000 visits to these clubs for after school care, aquatics lessons, basketball, football, baseball, tutoring and so much more. Also, Summer Day Camp attendance nearly doubled in 2009, with 1,600 youth attending summer camp. Click HERE for locations.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Salvation Army Volunteers Honored

Last Friday morning, The Tulsa Area United Way hosted the National Volunteer Week Reception, which provided a venue for Tulsa area United Way agencies to honor their faithful volunteers.  The Salvation Army Tulsa Area Command honored 26 individuals and one company with the President’s Volunteer Service Award: from North Mabee: Darryl "Rocky" Bright, Dana Young, Aaron Hall, Philip Abode, Robin Reynolds, and Peggy Newsome; from West Mabee: Ronald Hodge and Kawanna Gordon; from Mabee Red Shield: DeAngelo Wagner and Robbin Vann; from Broken Arrow: Leslie Sanders, James McKenzie, Ken Forrestor, Tammy Pinley, and Zada Freeman; from Sand Springs: Jennifer Cypert, Frankie Hammons, Carrie Campbell, Daniel Denton, Renee Nevers, Jennifer Bryant, and Megan Weber; from Sapulpa: Darlene Roberts, Linda Williams, and Larry Richardson; and from The Center of Hope: Samson Companies and Toby Smith.   

The Sapulpa Boys & Girls Club also hosted a private reception on Friday afternoon for Sapulpa volunteers who were honored with President’s Volunteer Service Awards.  The Sapulpa staff told stories about Larry - the handy man, the van driver, the kettle counter - There isn’t much Larry hasn’t done at the Sapulpa club.  We heard how the senior adults’ water aerobics class has thrived under Darlene’s leadership.  I wish we could share stories about the impact each of our 27 honorees is making in this community.  We are blessed to have incredible volunteers like Larry and Darlene at each of our locations! 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Making a Difference is the Best Reward

Every day, The Salvation Army Center of Hope serves free lunch and dinner to anyone who needs a hot meal.  About 1,000 meals are prepared per day, and volunteers provide support to the kitchen staff at The Center of Hope to help make this process run smoothly.

About seven years ago, Mark and three other staff members from Samson Companies decided to give up their lunch hour once/month to serve hot meals to their less fortunate neighbors in the Tulsa community.  The  news of this opportunity spread throughout the office and other employees wanted to come along.  Today, Samson Companies has 10 teams that each volunteer once/month serving meals at The Center of Hope, along with a team of alternates.

One Samson employee, Christy, started volunteering at The Center of Hope about six months ago, because a coworker invited her to join a team.  Christy says, “It’s rewarding to do something for someone else. Anyone of us could find ourselves in need.”

A volunteer serves others and makes a difference in a community, but it is remarkable how rewarding the experience can be for the volunteer.  Staff members at Samson Companies would not have gotten to experience this reward if Mark would not have taken a step to serve this community seven years ago. Christy discovered what a difference she could make, because a coworker invited her to volunteer. 

This week, we celebrate and honor our volunteers.  We thank our many faithful volunteers who help achieve The Salvation Army mission in the Tulsa area every day. 

If you don’t have a place to volunteer, it’s not too late to get involved.  Volunteer shifts are available to help serve meals at The Center of Hope every day: 12:45-2:15pm or 3:45-5:45pm.  Email Michelle Thomas,, to schedule a shift.

Take a step, invite a friend, and make a difference in our community.

-Michelle Thomas, Volunteer Coordinator

Monday, April 19, 2010

It's Volunteer Week!

Here at The Salvation Army we are blessed with hundreds of valuable volunteers.  Not just at Christmas either, throughout the year we have individuals and groups that help us accomplish our mission by giving a few hours of their time when they can.

This week we will be posting stories related to our volunteers and all the amazing work they do for us.  If you have volunteered for us over the past year we hope you will join us for a reception honoring your hard work.  This Friday we will be joining the TAUW volunteer reception at Tulsa's Centennial Park (6th and Peoria) at 10 a.m.  We hope you will join us!

Haven't volunteered with us before? 
Check out our opportunities online:


Sand Springs Boys & Girls Club to Host State Conference

The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club of Sand Springs will host the All-Staff Conference for the Boys and Girls Clubs in the State of Oklahoma May 26 – 27. This is a time that Boys and Girls Club staff members are able to get training in many areas of our programming such as Triple Play (Study of mind, body and soul), Torch Club (pre-teen club), Keystone Club (teenage club), Goals for Graduation (graduation and goal planning for all ages) and many other programs. This is also a great time to get additional information from other clubs. 

Approximately 60 - 80 people are expected to attend the conference and there will be people speaking from the regional level of Boys and Girls Club offices. This is sure to be a really great event for staff members to gain training and what a great advantage to have this at one of our clubs in the Tulsa area. It means we get very easy access to training in one of our very own facilities!
-Greg Parker, Director, Sand Springs Boys & Girls Club

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fourth Grader Wows the Media

Nine-year-old Kendall Vann initially said “No” when Mabee Red Shield Director Jerome Smith asked her if she would let KOKI-Fox23 anchor Doug Clark interview her. But as Jerome walked away, Kendall changed her mind and handled the interview like a seasoned pro. She made excellent eye contact with Doug and gave thoughtful, measured and concise answers. Doug said Kendall did really well - especially for a nine year old. He was doing a story on gangs recruiting younger kids and had interviewed Jerome for a few minutes before asking to talk to a child.

Kendall told Doug that she had heard other fourth graders talk about gangs but she “stayed away from trouble” and found troublemakers in school “annoying”.  She told me that in her classes at Kendall Whittier Elementary School she likes to “Get my work done, read a lot, and do my best so I can get into college.” Not surprisingly, Kendall said this philosophy came from her mother Nicole. Kendall, I’m thinking if you stay on the track you’re on, you‘re going to be whatever you want to be, but I hope you consider a broadcast career as one of your options!


Photo: Kendall Vann and Doug Clark

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Little Army History

Since 1917, when a cheerful Salvation Army lassie handed a fresh doughnut to a homesick doughboy in France, The Salvation Army doughnut has symbolized loving concern for those in the armed forces.

In 1917 young Helen Purviance, an ensign in the Salvation Army, was sent to France to work with the American First Division. Putting her Hoosier ingenuity to work, she and a fellow officer, Ensign Margaret Sheldon, patted the first dough into shape by hand, but soon employed an ordinary wine bottle as a rolling pin. Since they had no doughnut cutter, the lassies used a knife to cut the dough into strips and then twisted them into crullers.

Ensign Purviance coaxed the wood fire in the potbellied stove to keep it at an even heat for frying. Because it was back-breaking to lean over the low fire, she spent most of the time kneeling in front of the stove.

"I was literally on my knees," she recalled, "when those first doughnuts were fried, seven at a time, in a small frypan. There was also a prayer in my heart that somehow this home touch would do more for those who ate the doughnuts than satisfy a physical hunger,"

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

T-Ball Time at Boys & Girls Clubs

From now until early June, it’s time for T-ball, coach pitch and kid pitch at the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs.  

For the first time in recent memory, Mabee Red Shield Club is offering T-ball. It’s for kids who are four to six years old. Call 834-2464 or stop by the club to sign up. 

Practice for T-ball, coach pitch and kid pitch began at the North Mabee Boys & Girls last month, but it’s still not too late for parents to sign their kids up. Just call the club at 425-7534. 

In Sapulpa, T-ball sign up also is ongoing, said Theresa Bowers, athletic director.  “We have 20 kids but we could use a few more,” Theresa said. Call the Sapulpa Club at 224-4415. 

At the West Mabee Boys & Girls Club, 12 kids are in T-ball and 16 have signed up at the Broken Arrow Club. Games at all the clubs are primarily on Saturdays. Photo: Two North Mabee athletes, William Wilkerson, age 7 and his friend Lincoln Goff, Jr., age 6, hang out at the North Mabee Club after practice.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

West Mabee Club Gets Teens to Church

Thirteen teenage boys were dressed up and ready for church at 9:00 a.m. Easter Sunday when Jamar Giddings picked them up at the West Mabee Boys & Girls Club, where he is director. Four teenage girls were also at the club, ready to be picked up by Erika Thomas, program director.  Jamar drove the boys to his church, Cathedral of Praise in Sand Springs.

He has been doing this every Sunday since he started at the West Mabee Club nine years ago. More kids were waiting for him on  Easter than ever before. Erika drives the girls to her church, Calvary Baptist, in Sapulpa. Why is this news? Personally, I found it almost impossible to get my own two kids to church as teens.  The West Mabee kids are getting themselves out of bed, out the door and to the club to be picked up! My hat is off to Jamar and Erica. After being at the club all week, and attending club sports events on Saturdays, they are taking their one day off to see that the kids who want to go to church get there. It’s more than dedication to their jobs, it’s dedication to the kids, and that deserves recognition.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sand Springs Spring Events

The Salvation Army Corps in Sand Springs have been busy planning some great spring events. We hope you will join us!

Spaghetti Dinner- THIS WEEKEND
April 10, 2010 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Dinner prepared and served by The Salvation Army Corps Cadet Brigade and Brownie Teen Group.
Adults 17-54- $5.00
Children 4-16- $3.00
Seniors over 55- $3.00
Children under 3 are free!

Are you a scrapbooker?  They are hosting a scrapbooking weekend!
Friday, April 23rd 6:00 p.m. - late!
Saturday, April 24th 7:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. (Dinner provided)

You can rent a table for only $5.00!  RSVP by April 19.
*Overnight accommodations will be available to those traveling to join this event. 

All Sand Springs events are located at: 4403 S. 129th W. Ave. Sand Springs, OK

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"Eggstravaganza" @ North Mabee Boys & Girls Club

Thousands of Easter eggs were found hidden around the North Mabee Boys & Girls Club last Wednesday for a fun-filled Easter egg hunt held for North Mabee, West Mabee and Mabee Red Shield members. Almost a hundred kids aged one to 12 found the eggs on the football field, the baseball field and the playground, according to Latrice Fowlkes, North Mabee Asst. Director/Program Administrator.
“Everyone had a great time. It only lasted about an hour, so there was a lot of running around. We gave prizes for golden eggs that were found,” Latrice said. 
The youngest children were allowed to attend if their siblings were members of a Boys & Girls Club. Children participating either brought their own Easter baskets or bags and some were given out by the clubs. Boys & Girls Club Leadership Council member and long-time volunteer Liz Hunt hosted the hunt on behalf of her State Senate volunteers, furnishing 2,000 eggs and 10 prizes for the kids. The eggs were colorful plastic eggs filled with candy. Photo: Mabee Red Shield Club member Xochitl Biles found one of the prize-winning golden eggs.