Friday, September 23, 2011

Meth Addiction and The Salvation Army

Did anyone else see the story on CBS News Tuesday evening about TV commercials reducing teenage meth usage in Montana by 63%? That’s an astounding reduction. The TV ads have been running for six years. They’re very graphic and disturbing – apparently disturbing enough to have an effect. How does this relate to the Salvation Army?  Some of the teens who get hooked on meth can sometimes turn into homeless adults who we help at the Center of Hope – our shelter and social services center. And our ARC Family Stores support the Adult Rehabilitation Center where all kinds of substance abuse issues are addressed. Last Christmas a 30-something woman at the shelter thanked me for serving food that she could chew with her gums, as she had no upper teeth. I asked her how she lost her teeth at such a young age. “Meth,” she said. I claimed ignorance and she promptly educated me. “One of the ingredients of meth is battery acid,” she said, making it clear. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting interviews with Salvation Army staff members and their thoughts about meth addiction and how we help people who are affected by it. Stay tuned...



Thursday, September 15, 2011

Meet the blogger - Lindsay

Hi everyone! I'm Lindsay Sparks, Development and eMarketing Director for The Salvation Army here in Tulsa. What the heck does that mean? I edit and post everything you see on our blog, Twitter and Facebook. I also am responsible for overseeing the development team here in Tulsa, that includes: PR Director-Sallie, Volunteer Coordinator-Rhonda, Fundraising Director-Carrie, Donor Assistant-Ann and Grants Manager-Rosemary. We are a very busy energetic team!

My past jobs have all been in the non-profit sector except for a short stint working for the State of Oklahoma, which is technically non-profit but with a different tax status and bigger budget. I LOVE what I do for a living, no doubt. My path began at OSU where I graduated with a degree in Journalism with an emphasis on Public Relations from the School of Media and Strategic Communications.  I started doing PR, I transitioned into marketing and eventually found myself fundraising. I ended up with The Salvation Army in 2009 after a devastating layoff from another non-profit. I never thought that such a hard time could turn into an amazing opportunity but it did!

So what do I do for fun? If it is summer and I'm not working you can find me at the lake. The rest of the time I'm probably running around with my book club or hanging out with my cat at home. I love to play on Pinterest, read great books, enjoy my friends and family and my all-time favorite thing is traveling. That's a little about me, nice to meet you! 


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hooray for Day of Caring!

Day of Caring got off to a great start with luchadores greeting participants at the door of the Exposition Building at the fairgrounds. But participants were also greeted warmly at the six Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs, Area Command and the Citadel Corps. Our site directors think about projects they need to have done all year long and it’s exciting to see months of preparation come to fruition. Some major projects were: BOK employees painting the exterior of Area Command, TD Williamson employees painting murals at the BA Boys & Girls Club and a pouring a concrete wheelchair ramp at the North Mabee Boys & Girls Club. Walmart employees painted the BA locker rooms while rocking out to music. All of the Boys & Girls Clubs hosted heroes who cleaned out storage rooms and sheds. There were at least two “first times” that we learned of: University of Tulsa employees got to all be together for the first year by doing four jobs at the Sand Springs Boys & Girls Club and the Citadel Corps participated for the first time when IBM downtown employees painted the chapel. Stay tuned for some facts and figures about Day of Caring that are still coming in.Thank you, thank you, thank you to all the companies who helped us. We are blessed to have you volunteer! 


Thursday, September 8, 2011

3,000 people to register for Christmas assistance

Three thousand people have received their letters scheduling appointments for Christmas assistance registration, according to Major Kathy Williams, Coordinator of Women’s Ministries and Christmas coordinator. Scheduling an appointment to register is the only way people can receive gifts for children and the elderly at Christmas, Mrs. Williams said. The appointments start Wed.,Sept. 14 at the new headquarters at 924 S. Hudson Ave. (see map below) and people are asked to enter on the west side of the building. Applicants need to bring the following items to the appointment:

  • Their appointment letter
  • Photo ID for the person applying for assistance
  • Birth certificates for all eligible children, 0-12 years of age
  • Pant, shirt, shoe sizes and toy choice for each child
  • Current proof of all income identification that states how much you receive, such as current paycheck stub, food stamp verification, TANF and Social Security
  • Proof of current address, such as utility bill or lease.

Last year, we gave 34,000 Christmas presents to 3,000 people. As you can see, it’s a huge undertaking but with help from our experienced staff and wonderful volunteers, we’ll get the job done!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Tiny Dancers

On Tuesday night I got to participate in a special dance recital at the Center of Hope. Children for the Center's Supportive Housing Program have been practicing every Monday since March with volunteer dance instructors Maria Stevenson, Heather Fick, Jessica Rhodes and Kilee Hammer. This was their first opportunity to show off what they have learned and it was fantastic.

The eight children participating tapped and danced to "I Feel Good" by James Brown and the audience, including myself, was captivated by their eagerness to perform. Because of their dedication and hard work they got two special rewards last night, a pizza party before the recital and an after-party in the BOK Suite at the BOK Center for a Tulsa Shock basketball game!

Kelly Maricle a Case Manager for the Supportive Housing Program was thrilled with the kids' performance, "It was their night to shine and tap dance their way into the audience's hearts!  These kiddos were so proud of themselves and deservedly so. I went home at the end of the night feeling so blessed to have the job I have."

The Supportive Housing program provides semi-permanant housing for individuals and families who are trying to become independant once again following a variety of circumstances that lead to homelessness. The program focuses on teaching life skills and promoting self-sufficiency.

Congratulations David, Dominique, D'Anna, Diamond, Ashton, Kierra, Braylah, and Taylor -- You were awesome and I know there are many great things in your futures!