Special to The Sun
OKLAHOMA CITY —
The Salvation Army’s Christmas Kettle collections exceeded the group’s goal of $552,780, and surpassed the $645,848.22 collected in 2011.
“We’re very grateful,” said Major Dan Proctor, Central Oklahoma Area Commander. “The increases in Canadian and Cleveland counties played a large role in the success of this year’s campaign. None of this would have been possible without the community’s support.”
Oklahomans not only gave of their resources in abundance this year, they also gave of their time in record amounts. The group had 6,400 volunteers in 2012, an increase of 3,968 people from 2011, the Salvation Army stated. Volunteer hours increased by 7,562 hours, to 17,477.
In another record, The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program was able to assist 2,032 households and 11,405 individuals. Donations and funds raised were used to provide area families with food, Angel Tree Program toys and clothing during Christmas, Salvation Army officials said. Some of the funds will also be used to stock the organization’s food pantry, youth programs, outreach ministries and other emergency needs.
“This year Oklahomans provided the finest quality gifts ever,” said Major Francina Proctor, Associate Area Commander. “We have received an abundance of ‘thanks yous’ and hugs from families who experienced the joy of Christmas by your generosity.
“We are extending these words of thanksgiving from the single family homes, grandparents raising grandchildren, senior citizens and even from a prisoner who wrote: ‘Christmas can be a sad time for many as it highlights separation from loved ones. The love of Christ reflected through ministries such as yours helps to ease this pain, thank you and God bless you.’
“Please know that your giving was appreciated and truly made a difference this Christmas,” she said. “Thank you for remembering those who are lost, lonely and sometimes forgotten.”
A total of 84 Red Kettle stations were set up at various Central Oklahoma area businesses to collect donations though Dec. 24. Those locations included Homeland, Walmart, Hobby Lobby, Bass Pro Shops and more.
The Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma provides services in Oklahoma County, Cleveland County and Canadian County.
“The Salvation Army in Central Oklahoma is helping those in need, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day,” Dan Proctor said. “There are more demands than we can meet, but with the community’s continued support year round, we are able to provide relief from suffering and set a course for transformed lives.”
Highlights from this Christmas season were:
• The organization’s Angel Tree program served more than 2,032 households and 11,405 individuals through the Christmas season.
• Oklahoma City’s Thunder’s Rumble the Bison served as this year’s honorary Christmas chair.
• Yukon Homeland hosted the Kettle kickoff.
• Quail Springs Mall hosted the Angel Tree kickoff with the Thunder Girls and Kevin Ogle.
• The Salvation Army was able to assist 2,032 households and 11,405 individuals.
• Landmark Homes had a ‘Thankmas’ party at one of their model homes. They collected food and toys to benefit children in our program.
• McFarlin United Methodist Church in Norman sponsored several families and took more than 100 angels to place on their Church Angel Tree.
• The owners of the Sooner Bowl, the Hawes family, and their friends gathered food, toys and clothing for six of the Salvation Army’s largest and most needy families.
• The Vance family sponsored 100 angels and purchased food and clothing for them.
• The Fill the Truck Event at Walmart helped gather more than 100 toys to be used in the Angel Tree program.
• Warmth4Winter in partnership with KFOR, South OKC Rotary, County Commissioner Brian Maughan’s office and The Salvation Army has collected thousands of coats for Oklahomans this winter.
• 830 Bicycles were distributed to children in need (Buck$ 4 Bikes). Volunteer bike assemblers totaled 220 people including volunteers from Kiwanis, Northwest OKC Rotary, Oklahoma Bike Society, Southern Nazarene University and church volunteers.
• Huffy donated two tractor trailers of bikes and Total Transportation Resources donated $4,200 in freight to deliver the new bicycles from Huffy.
• Partnership with Food & Shelter Inc. to have a Christmas party for clients in the combined shelters, as well as the homeless clients. Food & Shelter provided the gifts and Salvation Army provided the food. Joan and Richard Day sponsored the Shelter Christmas party.
• Special thanks to the Reeves family and Bob Staples, for their help with the Cleveland County distribution center. In addition, Dr. Lackey who donated the space and Judy Hatfield of Equity Real estate for coordinating it.
• Paycom’s generous $32,000 employee and company match Christmas donation.
• Northpark Mall Big Night Out benefit
• Mid-America Christian University/Tyler Media, Thunder Toy drive.
• Chesapeake Winter on Western Warmth4Winter Coat Drive
• Senior Christmas lunch
For additional information or to donate contact the Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command email jeanean_castle@
uss.salvationarmy.org or visit www.salvationarmy