It’s a tale full of trials and triumphs, difficult hurdles and unlikely heroes. In short, it’s a tale about transformation; of how a deserted, mice-ridden warehouse was transformed into the beautiful new office and warehouse that The Salvation Army Tulsa Area Command now calls home. The first hurdle: Every Christmas season, we had to beg, borrow or rent a warehouse to accommodate toy and food distribution. Every year it became more difficult to find a suitable space and in 2009 it cost $42,000. The second hurdle: The Advisory Board, which must approve every major decision of the Tulsa Area Command, did not want to acquire any new property. The third hurdle: Almost every property the right size and price was in such bad condition, they were downright scary. The fourth hurdle: During the recession, real estate, especially corporate real estate, was selling very slowly or not at all.
|Major Roy and Kathy Williams|
|David Johnson at the|
canteen staffed by Southern Baptists'
Disaster Team at the Open House.
|Advisory Board Chair Billie Barnett |
praises Major Roy and Kathy Williams
|Advisory Board members John Bowen, |
Marla Bradshaw, Pat Baldwin
and Mary Shaw
Our break room was so small that part of the staff had to stand during meetings. One staff member opened her desk drawer and a mouse ran out. Lindsay tweeted about our mice problem and KOKI Fox 23 came out to do a story. It wasn’t an office paradise, but we survived with the promise of a beautiful, spacious brand-new office space with our Christmas warehouse down the hall.
|Jackie Pizarro, president of the |
Women's Auxiliaryand Arletta Robinson,
director, Center of Hope
|David Johnson and Billie|
During our dedication of the building Tuesday, Advisory Board Chairman Billie Barnett commended Majors Roy and Kathy Williams for their kindness, tenacity and grace during the project. She thanked staff members for being good sports about the less-than-ideal conditions. Major Ken Luyk, our Divisional Commander, recognized Major Roy Williams for his energy and vision.
Hurdles were overcome. Heroes were honored. The brass band played. Billie gave me something new to think about. When we are kind, tenacious and blessed with grace can’t we survive practically anything? I’m going to say yes. Kindness, tenacity, grace, new offices, old friends and no mice. It just doesn’t get any better.