Tuesday, July 30, 2013

14th Annual B&G Club Charity Golf Tournament A Success!

Camaro from Jim Glover
 A sports car, dozens of door prizes and a random pop-up storm are just a few of the exciting aspects of the 14th Annual Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Tulsa Golf Tournament. The event was held Monday, July 22nd at Tulsa Country Club.

Title Sponsor Jim Glover Chevrolet added a little extra fun to Hole #14: a 2013 Camaro 2SS Convertible to the person who could hit a hole-in-one. Although a few golfers came close, no one was able to claim the prize. Mike Lewis from Doerner, Saunders, Daniel & Anderson LLP did claim a prize that has many co-workers excited: a recliner from Mathis Brothers. Lewis says there are a few pregnant women in his office that plan to put the recliner in what will be a “mother’s room.” As a new mom myself, I love that idea!

1st Place Midfirst Bank team
There are always a few surprises at golf tournaments but no one expected Mother Nature to put a halt on the tournament just before the second flight took off. A storm came through and knocked down a few limbs and the QuarterShare Beef Sticks tent! Many of the players checked their iPhones and grabbed a few extra beverages before their play began about 30 minutes later. The players got to enjoy cooler temperatures for about another hour before the July humidity came back!

The smallest volunteers present.
Club members from all six Boys & Girls Clubs got to interact with the players both on and off the golf course. The 2013 event is the most successful, bringing in 43 teams, several new sponsors and close to $70,000 that will go directly to our six Boys & Girls Clubs!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Tis the Season: Holiday Volunteer Dates!

HO HO HO! What? It’s just July, why are you talking like Santa? Well, because for us over here at The Salvation Army Christmas season has already begun and one of the most common questions we get is, when can I sign up for volunteering? Well, mark your calendars! 

We have the most-up-to-date list of our Holiday volunteer opportunities. Additional details will be announced on the September 9th blog. 

August 19 th—September17 –Angel Tree Appointment Letters
September 18th– October 11 –Angel Tree Registration
September 9-Thankgsiving Volunteer Registration Opens and additional details about volunteering will be posted on our blog!

October 1stChristmas Volunteer Registration Opens
November 22- December13-Angel Tree
November28-Thanksgiving Meal Service
December 2-18 –Toy Shop
December 7 –Food Sorting
December 14- Food Packing
December 19-21- Gift Distribution

If you are interested in volunteering for any of these opportunities contact Jenny McElyea, Volunteer Coordinator at 918 587 7801 or Jenny_McElyea@uss.salvationarmy.org

    ALSO: We have a large need for Spanish/English speaking volunteers! If you or anyone you know is bilingual please consider volunteering your talent this year!
-   --Jenny

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Downtown Homeless Shelter Get a New Playground!

Recently, the Center of Hope, Salvation Army of Tulsa's homeless shelter and social services center celebrated the opening of a new playground! The playground was made possible by a generous donation from the Helmrich Family Foundation. And the following pictures are from the dedication ceremony and official opening! Enjoy!

Major Taylor welcomes attendees.

COH Director Arletta Robinson thanks the Helmrich family members in attendance.

Peggy Helmrich says a few words.

Hans, Rik and Peggy Helmrich with Major Jim Taylor

The playscape!

Excited kiddos brave the slide.

On the whirly thing.

What a great space for our kiddos to run off some energy; many thanks to the Helmrich's for their generosity!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Keeping our kids 'Safe From Harm'

Staff and Volunteers trained on child abuse recognition and prevention

Each year thousands of kids pass through the hallways of The Salvation Army and Boys & Girls Club of Metro Tulsa.  With each kid that passes through those hallways is a promise, a promise that we will do our best to keep them safe from harm.  

Our top goal is to ensure that each child that comes to us is able to enjoy a fun and safe environment.  We are able to meet this goal through a class called “Safe from Harm”.  Safe from Harm is a training that is require of every volunteer and employee who work with children, in addition to passing a background check.  

Safe From Harm has six objectives:
1.      Educate leaders and workers about prevention of abuse or accidental injury.
2.      Enable leaders and workers to develop procedures and practices that reduce these risks.
3.      Protect adults from mistaken or groundless allegations.
4.      Reduce liability for Salvation Army units.
5.      Build parental confidence in Army programs, and
6.      Prepare Army representatives to respond should an incident or accident occur

Safe from Harm teaches volunteers and employees signs of child abuse and what to do if they spot one of the signs.  There are different levels of safe from harm classes depending on your position and how in depth you’d like your knowledge to be.  Safe from Harm teaches the most up to date research on abuse, prevention, and general child safety. 

We take our children’s safety seriously and do everything in our power to keep them “Safe from Harm”. 

- Jenny

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Home Energy Aid Month Supported by PSO, Tulsa Shock

PSO, Tulsa Shock & The Salvation Army Form Team To Help Families

 Earlier this week, while it was close to 100 degrees outside, the air-conditioning unit in my car broke. It was awful!

I had to get it fixed quickly because I drive my two young kids around Tulsa everyday. It must be really difficult to sit in a home right now without an air-conditioning unit or a fan to stay cool. But this is the reality for some families who struggle financially.

            A unique partnership between Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO), the Tulsa Shock and the Salvation Army will help these families. The group is working together to raise funds for PSO’s Light A Life Energy Fund, which is administered by the Salvation Army. Light A Life provides emergency funds for those who need help paying their energy bills.  PSO and the Salvation Army formed this program back in 1986.   

            In addition, Three Tulsa Shock games in July will be dedicated to raising funds for Light A Life. A few fun surprises and events are planned for Shock fans during the games on the 19th, 21st and 25th. The funds raised will be used throughout the year to help those needing assistance with their energy bills. 

Major James Taylor holds the Mayor's Proclamation
This partnership is part of Home Energy Aid Month, which brings awareness and donations to these programs. Governor Mary Fallin declared July “Home Energy Aid Month” in the state of Oklahoma. Mayor Dewey Bartlett did the same for the city of Tulsa (see pic).  PSO and other businesses in the area have agreed to match donor gifts during Home Energy Aid Month. 

PSO continues to be a community leader when it comes to helping neighbors. Without PSO’s support, it would be difficult for the Salvation Army to assist as many families. The Tulsa Shock is also showing loyalty towards its city by reaching out to help thousands of kids and families.  We appreciate having three Shock games to promote our mission. 

 It’s comforting to see so many people working to improve metro Tulsa! 

- Carrie

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

New officers happy to be in Sand Springs

Captains Ben Jr. and Rhonda Walters

Captain Ben Walters continues his family's Salvation Army tradition

There was something very familiar about Captain Ben Walter's ear-to-ear grin when he talked to me recently about his wife and he being the new officers at the Sand Springs Corps and Boys & Girls Club. And then it hit me---it's the same kind of grin my son had after his wife gave birth to their first baby in April! To say Captain Walters is excited about being in Sand Springs is an understatement. He is elated.

I haven't had a chance to talk to Mrs.Walters yet, sadly, she couldn't come to the club that day because she had injured her back during their move. I'm looking forward to meeting her soon. 

The Walters moved from the Muskogee Corps where they managed a Family Store and a Boys & Girls Club which was eventually downsized to a Red Shield Club. They served there for two years.

The Walters family, front row from left,
Bailey, Ben, Raegan, Rorie
Captain Walters has a history of Salvation Army officers in his family. When he was younger, his parents were officers at the Citadel Corps in Oklahoma City where he met his future wife, Rhonda. She is originally from Shawnee and although Captain Walters lived all over the south with parents as Salvation Army officers, he considers Oklahoma home. He and his wife were married for five years before they entered The Salvation Army training college in Atlanta and were commissioned two years after that. They have four children. 

The oldest, Bailey, is 18 and is a lifeguard for the city of Wagoner. She'll go to Connors State College in the fall. Their son, Ben III, is 17 and will attend Sand Springs High School in the fall along with their daughter Raegan, age 15. Rorie, age 12, is currently at the Salvation Army Music Conservatory and she will enter seventh grade in Sand Springs in the fall. 

"I'm looking forward to getting to know the Sand Springs community. It has a hometown kind of feel and I like being surrounded by the beautiful hills and ridges," Captain Walters said. "I love people and I'm looking forward to getting to know people in Sand Springs." 

And I'm sure people in the Sand Springs Corps and Boys & Girls Club are looking forward to getting to know the whole Walters family.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Chowdown on Bean Chowder!

Grab A Bowl of Famous TPS Bean Chowder To Help The Salvation Army

Alumni of Tulsa Public Schools (TPS) know this dish: brown bean chowder. Pinto beans, garlic, chili powder, beef, onion and a few other secret ingredients made this a favorite in the school cafeteria. The Center of Hope is taking a step back into time to bring this famous TPS recipe to the people of Tulsa.

 The Home Energy Aid Bean Chowder Chowdown is Thursday, July 18th from 11am-1pm at the Center of Hope located at 102 North Denver. Take-out boxes are also available, call ahead at (918) 582-7201 ext. 218 to place your order. Tickets are $7.00 and include bean chowder, cornbread, green salad and iced tea. Cinnamon rolls will also be available for an additional donation. One dozen tickets can be purchased for $75.

Fox 23 News anchors, reporters and other staff will be volunteering at the Bean Chowder Chowdown so come to the Center of Hope and say hello. We encourage all of you to buy lunch for your co-workers, friends and/or family while also helping out hundreds of Tulsa families.

All money raised through this event will be donated directly to summer utility bills for households facing financial challenges in the Tulsa metro area. Because many families have to choose between paying rent or electricity we see this program as a way to prevent homelessness by allowing both the rent and the energy bills to get paid.

The Bean Chowder Chowdown is quickly becoming a tradition during Home Energy Aid Month, which brings awareness and funds for these programs. Local utility providers that support year-round fundraising efforts for this program includes Public Service Company of Oklahoma’s Light A Life Program, Oklahoma Natural Gas Company’s Share the Warmth Program and Oklahoma Gas & Electric Company’s Lend A Hand Program.

Forget about bringing lunch to work on Thursday, instead try a bowl of famous TPS brown bean chowder to see why everyone loves this recipe.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

North Mabee kids keep up their reading skills

Miss Trice reads during story time!

Even at Summer Camp, Salvation Army Boys &Girls Club helps kids with school 

It’s not easy to keep a group of kids still and attentive for 45 minutes when they are ages five to seven. But Latrice Fowlkes, director of The Salvation Army North Mabee Boys & Girls Club can do it and I enjoyed watching her work her magic one day last week. She read a book about lightning out loud to 25 members of Summer Day Camp at the Club. The book appeared to be at about a fifth-grade reading level, yet the kids listened intently and asked pertinent questions. It helped that the children respect “Miss Trice” and that she encouraged the kids to tell about their own experiences with lightning.

"Don't bother me, I'm reading!"
The story time is just one program Latrice uses in North Mabee’s Summer Day Camp to help prevent the “summer slide,” the new term for summer learning loss. Latrice has her own three children enrolled in the Club and she doesn’t want them to forget any knowledge or skills they attained during the school year, and she knows other parents are concerned about it too. Summer Day Camp enrollment is at capacity and attendance averages about 65 kids a day.

The North Mabee Boys & Girls Club partners with the Tulsa City County Library's Summer Reading Program, so every other week the library's Bookmobile parks in front of the Club and kids older than seven are able to select the books they're interested in. Every day all the kids have a forty minute reading time. I got a kick out of the girl in the photo above who is so interested in her book that the boy is going to have to "talk to the hand" until she's done!

In addition to reading time, the day campers spend 30 to 40 minutes each day in the computer room. They're required to use a learning program called "Kids College" for 15 minutes before they're allowed to browse the Internet. Of course, North Mabee, like all our Club's Summer Day Camps, offers all the traditional  fun activities for campers such as swimming, playing in the gym and field trips. Older North Mabee kids also get to enjoy photography, which professional photographer Turner Goodrum volunteer teaches year round. And, campers can stay over some evenings to take advantage of ballet and music lessons  the Club offers for a little extra.

I imagine there are some kids who will look back on their summer camp experience and fondly remember that their favorite activity was Miss Trice's story time. I know I would!


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Boys & Girls Club Golf Tourney has new title sponsor!

Jim Glover Chevrolet Makes Huge Commitment to The Salvation Army        

Jim Glover Chevrolet is known as one of the most reputable Chevy dealerships in the state.  The dealership’s commercials are some of the most popular on TV, especially in the Tulsa area.  But Jim Glover Chevrolet also gives back to the community and shows a lot of generosity toward The Salvation Army and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Tulsa. 
Jim Glover Chevrolet is the Title Sponsor of the 14th Annual Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Tulsa Charity Golf Tournament. By doing this, the dealership is ensuring more kids get exposed to a safe, positive and nurturing environment by attending one of our six Clubs.

            $1,000 = Provides a Club membership and scholarship for one child to the after school               
                           program for an entire school year.
            $2,500 = Purchases snacks for 40 kids for six months.
            $5,000 = Pays for 142 Boys & Girls Clubs memberships

In addition to being the Title Sponsor of our Golf Tournament, Jim Glover Chevrolet is providing a car as a hole-in-one prize: the 2013 Camaro 2SS Convertible, valued at $45,000!! During our 2012 Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary tournament, we had a golfer hit a hole-in-one and received a free trip, so maybe someone will drive away in this new car!

This isn’t the first time Jim Glover Chevrolet has shown generosity toward The Salvation Army. For the past several years, the dealership has been a major Christmas supporter, donating thousands of dollars toward helping families in Tulsa have a good holiday. 

We appreciate the kindness of the staff of Jim Glover Chevrolet and appreciate all that they do to improve our community.