Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mabee Red Shield Boys & Girls Club Turns Kid Around

With their 20 year old son in prison, Della Walker and her husband Jefferey Carroll are using all the strategies they can to keep their eight year old son out of trouble, and a Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club is a major part of the plan.

Jay Carroll, age eight, is a member of the Mabee Red Shield Boys & Girls Club on 1231 N. Harvard. When he first joined the club last fall, club director Jerome Smith said he acted “street” but has now turned around.

“The kids think acting street is cool and that’s hard for us to combat. Jay didn’t want to be recognized as a good kid, because then he wouldn’t be cool. But he’s come a long way,” Smith said.

Walker said that before joining the club she took Jay to a day care center’s after-school program, where he was bored. “They’d sit around and watch Barney all the time,” she said.  Walker works as the second shift manager of housekeeping at St. John Medical Center, where she supervises four managers and 35 employees. But managing her young son was more challenging. Walker said since Jay’s 20 year old brother and 23 year old sister were so much older, he never learned to share things at home. She’d get calls from Jay’s day care and school when Jay would be asked to share and consequently would act out. “He spent a lot of time in the time-out chair,” Walker said.

Walker heard about the Mabee Red Shield Boys & Girls Club from a good friend of hers at work who had taken her kids to Red Shield. Walker called the club and went there to interview Smith and take a tour. 

 “Everyone was sociable, everyone was cheerful. I felt like they were family,” she said. Another bonus was that the club picks up its members at school. Before, she had to pick Jay up at school and drop him off at day care before she went to work. “And the club is $120 a month cheaper,” she said. 

Golfers & Kids Enjoyed the Boys & Girls Club Charity Golf Tournament

Temperatures in the high 90s didn’t even make a dent in the fun enjoyed at the recent Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club Charity Golf Tournament held at Tulsa Country Club. Fifteen teams played 18 holes in a morning flight, were served lunch, then 15 more teams played in the afternoon flight. Some extra-tough teams endured the heat for both flights. Staff members from each club had chosen four kids to attend based on good behavior since Summer Day Camp had started. Children from the Salvation Army Sapulpa Boys & Girls Club greeted golfers in the morning before tee off. Kids from all the clubs learned how to putt before lunch, then settled down to a delicious meal. Jamar Giddings, director of the West Mabee Boys & Girls Club, gave the kids from his club etiquette tips as they chowed down on barbecue, salad and peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream for dessert.  

Many thanks go to sponsors of the tournament including: Cox Communications, Cox Business, A.G. Equipment, People’s Bank, CMark Resources, Grizzard Communications, SpiritBank, Hampton Inns (Broken Arrow and Coweta), Motorola, Burggraf Services, Donohue Commercial Service, Jani-King, Solarc and MidFirst Bank.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Volunteer Coordinator Wanted

Tulsa Area Command
- Organize and implement year-round volunteer 

program in the Tulsa area
- Recruit and coordinate volunteers for Golf Tournaments,
Pancake Breakfast, Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve Luncheons,
Angel Tree Christmas Distribution Center and Mall Angel Tree booths,
Motorcycle Toy Run, and other events
-  Coordinate volunteers for United Way Day of Caring
- Bachelor's Degree Plus Two Years Experience 

Coordinating Volunteers
-Must be able to work at Thanksgiving Day & Christmas Eve luncheons,
and occasional weekends
Send Resume to
or mail to P. O. Box 397, Tulsa, OK

Young Rembrandts Create Art at Philbrook

Every second Saturday of the month, the Philbrook Museum of Art holds  Family Day and Mabee Red Shield’s Young Rembrandts art teacher Miss LaDonna has been helping her students and their families participate in it. Classes, scavenger hunts and tours of the Philbrook Museum and Villa are offered to families free of charge. “So far, nine of my students and their families have participated, with two of them coming several times,” Miss LaDonna said. One of the requirements for participation is for parents to bring their kids. 
 “I give the kids my cell phone number and tell them to call me when they are on their way to the museum. Then I meet the families at the door,” Miss LaDonna said. 
She often works beside the families while they work on art projects.  Sat., June 12 the art project was creating scarab necklaces to go along with the “Egyptian Treasures” exhibit at the museum. (see slideshow) “Some of the children are fascinated with the Philbrook Villa, the part of the museum that was built by the late oilman Waite Phillips. “There’s one child who likes to spend hours walking around the villa and talking about it,” LaDonna said. “Whatever they want to do, that’s what I do.”   

Thank you, Miss LaDonna, for the time and love you give the Young Rembrandts inside and outside the classroom!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Let Your hand become my help. Psalm 119:173

When you think of homelessness, immediately the thought of great loss comes to mind.  But have you ever thought beyond just the loss of a place to sleep at night, loss of clothes and shoes, loss of a kitchen to prepare a meal?  If you consider this situation more deeply, suddenly you are thinking about why there is no family to help when someone no longer has a home to call his or her own.  You begin asking what is wrong with this family, why don’t they care about this person?  Well, for some who enter shelters no family may exist, but for most, losing their families is their biggest loss, not their homes or clothes or kitchens.

Issues such as substance abuse, alcoholism, mental illness and physical disability cause precious souls to become co-dependant, depressed, and selfish, overextending the ability of families to continue to help or express love for them.

Grady was in a similar situation, drinking too much at the age of 65. None of his family members were willing to deal with him anymore; he even had other shelters refusing to take him in.  Grady felt disowned by his family simply because they had told him exactly that. In fact, his family didn’t want anything to do with him and they hadn’t in years.

Although this is a tragic loss, in order for a core family to survive, they just cannot or should not continue to care for a relative who has become overwhelmingly burdensome.  At the Center of Hope, we reach out to attract anyone in need of shelter and many times individuals just like this, with no further bridges to cross, enter our door.

When Grady reached the Center of Hope, as the Lord would have it, he was assigned to meet with a case manager who is one of the best at adeptly turning the lives of alcoholics to the way of recovery and reconciliation.  Let’s just say, being her client is no walk in the park. She is able to maintain her clients’ interest so that they remain engaged in seeking sobriety and don’t give up, even if they’ve already turned 65.  She knows that Grady, and many others like him, have taken the devil’s hand for convenient consolation and had that first drink after repeated phases of sobriety. Most importantly, she knows there is a far greater and stronger hand that Grady can hold. With guidance, Grady began attending daily AA meetings.  As the Center of Hope team demonstrates daily, God will reach out through willing staff to hold hands with people, to snatch away the devil’s embrace. And as in Grady’s example, they also know how to reconcile an individual with their family. Grady has a home now, and his children have returned to his life, each willing to re-build their relationship with him.

Sometimes people think it is too late, sometimes they think there are no more chances and sometimes they are no longer extending their own hand for help. There is One who reaches out and with all the strength beyond the world, takes ours and we are helped, despite ourselves.

Article submitted by Center of Hope staff member Samantha Messick

Pancake FUNraiser

Saturday, July 17, 2010
7:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Home Energy Aid Week 2010
"Oklahomans Helping Others"

Pancake FUNraiser
The Salvation Army Broken Arrow Corps/Boys & Girls Club
1400 West Washington, Broken Arrow
$5.00 per adult
$2.50 per child under 12
Enjoy door prizes, face painting and carnival games in addition to a Jupiter Jump and other inflatables.  

Proceeds will support Oklahoma utility assistance programs, OG&E's Lend-A-Hand, ONG's Share The Warmth and PSO's Light-A-Life.  Funds raised will stay in the Tulsa area.  
Winner need not be present to win door prizes.

Personally, I think the best part of this event is pancakes until 2 p.m.  Perfect with my lazy Saturday schedule! I never make it to breakfasts that end at 9 a.m.  So, whether you come early, or drag yourself in a little later, you will be supporting a great cause!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Positions Available

Tulsa Area Command
Manage Recruiting, Employee Relations,
Policies & Procedures, Employee Records,
Benefits, Workers Compensation
Bachelor's Degree in Human Resources
or Related Field
Plus Minimum Two Years Experience
Send Resume to:
or mail to P. O. Box 397
Tulsa, OK  74101

North Mabee Boys & Girls Club
Two Positions - One Math, One English
Tutor High School Students
Preparing for College Entrance Exams
3 - 4.5 hours/week
Bachelor's Degree in Math or English
Send Resume to:
or mail to P. O. Box 397
Tulsa, OK  74101

Thursday, June 17, 2010

One Youth Shares Her Story...

This week, at our Advisory Board meeting we were very blessed to have Marisha Grayson, a local Youth of the Year nominee, visiting to share her experiences with her local Boys & Girls Club.  Everyone in attendance was amazed by her courage, optimism and professional demeanor.  Below is a transcript of the speech she gave so you can all see how much impact one club and a strong staff can have on the lives of today's youth.   
 Happy reading!

My name is Marisha Grayson and I am a senior at Booker T. Washington High School.

Mabee Red Shield (MRS) means so much to me.  I’ve been attending the club for six years and over this period of time my whole life has changed drastically.

Attending the club has allowed me to become the mature young woman that I am today.  When I first started coming to Mabee Red Shield I was very shy and quiet.  I remember my first day at club like yesterday.  I recall being timid around kids who were the same age as me, mainly because before I started coming to MRS, I attended a daycare where I was the oldest kid there.  Nevertheless, once I started getting older I slowly but surely began to come out of my shell.  The interaction with other kids has given me the abilities to be comfortable around people of all ages.

At the club I have learned to become a role model for not only the club kids but also for my siblings.  Although it’s pretty difficult to be a role model it’s really touching to know that one day they just might say, “Hey, I like what Marisha does for the club, I want to do that when I get a little older.”  That means that I have to always do the right things in order to be a positive influence for them.  However, it’s imperative for me to be a great role model for my siblings because I am paving the way for them to succeed.  I want them to know that whatever they put their mind to they can achieve, just like I did.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Garage Sale ‘Addict’ Brightens Salvation Army Sapulpa Boys & Girls Club

Trish Richardson, a self professed “garage sale addict” and lifeguard at the Sapulpa Boys & Girls Club, has used her bargain treasures to brighten the Sapulpa Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club, just as her energetic personality brightens the water aerobics classes she lifeguards. Trish has decorated practically every inch of the area surrounding the Olympic-sized pool in addition to the locker rooms and hallways. Every room has at least one decorative theme, such as dolphins on the women’s vanity and rubber ducks on the girls’ vanity. The women’s locker room has the feel of an antique shop, with pastel-painted lockers draped with rose colored fabric and topped with china figurines.

 “I know anybody could take the decorations, but I don’t mind because if they want it that badly they should have it,” Trish said. “After all, I didn’t pay much for it to begin with!” And, she sometimes lends the decorations to club members, such as lending a purple-blue swag to a member who dressed up as an April shower to attend a costume party. 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Behind the Scenes in TV Land

June 11 was a full day for Charles Gordon, age 12, a member of the Salvation Army Mabee Red Shield Boys & Girls Club. Charles and Major Roy Williams, Tulsa Area Commander, served as spokesmen for the upcoming June 21 Boys & Girls Club Charity Golf Tournament. Charles and TV anchors held informal putting contests on morning talk shows. As Kristin Dickerson, anchor for KTUL NewsChannel 8’s Good Day Tulsa, said to Charles, ”No pressure on live TV!” Charles practiced his putt on a practice green while Kristin talked to Major Williams about details of the tournament. Then Charles made a hole in one. Everyone on the set screamed with glee. Kristin missed the putt, but was a good sport about it.

On KJRH Channel-2, Charles’s most exciting moment was when he saw meteorologist Julie Chin on her way to the newsroom. Julie zoomed by Charles, which left him grinning and almost speechless. On the air, Charles gave KJRH anchor Justin Wilfon a putting lesson, but neither one of them made the putt. “I guess we both lost,” Justin said, but Charles was still smiling about seeing Julie Chin. Charles is the son of Salvation Army employees Jean and Jerome Smith. Jean is the Boys & Girls Club Administrative Assistant and Jerome is Director of the Mabee Red Shield Boys & Girls Club.

Thank you Charles for such a fun day and congratulations on your hole in one!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Boys & Girls Club Golf Tournament

Looking for more information on our exciting upcoming golf tournament?

The tournament will be held at Tulsa Golf and Country Club, June 21. 

This fun tournament offers exciting opportunities to play golf and support our youth the Tulsa community. Join local golfers, as well as children from nearby Boys & Girls Clubs, for a fun day on the course. The tournament format will be an 18 hole, 4-person scramble. Participants may select their own teams or allow tournament staff to coordinate teams on their behalf.

Questions? Call Michael 587-7801.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

In the news...

$25,000 Gift  From Felix Jones Highlighted in Tulsa World
One of our North Mabee Club Alumni, Felix Jones, gave a $25,000 gift to support ACT prep at North Mabee and hosted a football camp (at no cost to the kids) last weekend.  Check out the story here and a special thank you from us to Jones for his support!

Board Member Featured in Tulsa World
Kelli Bailey, a member of the Tulsa Area Command Advisory Board, was featured for her participation in a fundraiser with YWCA where she serves as board president.  Read more here.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Dallas Cowboys Running Back Gives Back

Dallas Cowboys running back Felix Jones,II,  an alumnus of the Salvation Army North Mabee Boys & Girls Club, gave $25,000 to the club recently as a matching grant to fund the Felix Jones ACT and College Preparatory Program for the next  two years. The gift kicked off a weekend of giving back to the North Tulsa community the athlete grew up in. The weekend was organized by Jones’s attorney, Damario Solomon Simmons, who represents Jones and his “Running Back to Make a Difference” foundation.  Solomon-Simmons is also a successful alumnus of the club, who club director Jo Bright designates as “Mabee Babies.” The gift is just part of the agreement with the foundation. Jones has also agreed to make a personal appearance to the students each program session and to help recruit celebrities to give motivational talks to program participants.  Other goals for the program are for the club to provide quarterly field trips to area colleges and scholarship information for program participants and their parents.  The gift was announced at a MVP Benefit the foundation held at former mayor Kathy Taylor’s home May 28. “I give back because it makes me happy to see the smiles on kids’ faces and also to thank the people who helped me when I was a kid,” Jones said.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Riding the Rails – The Rest of the Story

“All aboard!” the conductor shouted, and kids from our Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs climbed on the BNSF “Special” to take a three-hour trip to the middle of nowhere and back and they had a ball. Boys & Girls club directors, program directors, athletic directors and junior counselors herded 330 kids into 15 passenger cars without a hitch. Kids looked out the windows and sang train songs while the train was moving; colored and worked puzzles when the train stopped to switch engines. “Your kids are unusually well behaved,” said Joe Faust, Public Relations Director for BNSF Railroad and host for the trip.  There were also plenty of parents on board to make sure the kids followed the rules. Many Boys & Girls Club employees and volunteer leaders brought their children who were too young to be in Summer Day Camp but just old enough to enjoy the ride. 

Each club director hosted a volunteer council member from their particular club and Danny Roe, Council Chairman, attended and brought his three children. The club directors and guests were served lunch in an elegant dining car, restored with 1940s décor. Just as in the good old days, the tables were covered in white linens and the silverware gleamed. After the lunch and the presentation of a $10,000 check, the adults wandered through the kids’ cars. We knew we were entering a kid car as soon as we pried open the heavy polished-chrome doors because of the excited shouting and laughing. One car the children rode was a double decker with two stories of seating and one was a “dome car” with extra large windows. Kids and adults were given souvenir engineer hats. Even such ‘kids’ as Ricky Maranon, a reporter for the Tulsa World and Tim Carson, a photographer for OETA wore their hats. The train ride brought out the kid in all of us, which was by far the best part of the ride. 

Writer’s note:
I grew up in a railroad town, Roanoke, Virginia, in the 1960s and in the eighth grade, my parents let me ride the train across the state to visit a friend. In our family, it was a rite of passage to get to ride the train by yourself. The railroad was then named the Norfolk & Western, it’s now the Norfolk & Southern.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Kids get Railroaded

On Friday June 4, more than 300 youth from six local Boys & Girls Clubs enjoyed a train ride across Green Country.  You can read all about it on the Tulsa World site, CLICK HERE.

Below are some photos we captured during this exciting day! A special thank you to BNSF Railroad for their generosity!


Barbecue for the World

The Tulsa Citadel Men's Club is hosting a barbecue to support the Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO) and it's life-changing programs across the globe.  The men will be cooking up ribs, brisket and chicken with cole slaw, baked beans and dessert! I believe this is the perfect dinner for a Friday night, when you just want to relax with family and enjoy a good meal without cooking!

The Club welcomes you to join them on the lawn and enjoy the meal and fellowship with friends and neighbors or they can box up your dinner(s) to go.  To pre-order your meals (preferred) call or email Captain Robbins before June 16: or 851-0263.  

June 18th starting at 5p.m.

Where is The Citadel?
3901 E. 28th St., Tulsa
Right behind Eisenhower/Tulsa School Board Building (31st & Harvard area)

How much is the dinner?
$7.00 for adults, $3.50 for children 10 and under.

What is SAWSO?
At present there are 50,000 indigenous Army officers, employees and professional staff working in developing countries. SAWSO assists these persons and local leaders to identify the root causes of their problems, formulate solutions, and develop the skills necessary to plan and sustain programs in their communities. In addition to specific program area training, SAWSO provides training in project planning and management, leadership and community development.

SAWSO also helps to provide material assistance, such as food and clothing, in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. In an effort to move these communities from relief to development, SAWSO promotes and supports longer term assistance, such as health services and income generation projects for those affected by disasters.

Since its inception, SAWSO has channeled more than $100 million in goods and services obtained through donations, contributions and government grants to developing countries around the world. These operations are directed by a board of trustees composed of senior leaders of The Salvation Army in the United States.


Friday, June 4, 2010

Mabee Red Shield Starts Football Camps June 11

It’s hard to believe it’s already time for football camps! The Salvation Army Mabee Red Shield Boys & Girls Club is leading the pack with the first session of football camp starting Fri., June 11, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Sat., June 12, 10 a.m. to noon. The second session will be held Fri June 18, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Sat. June 19, 10 a.m. to noon. 

Both sessions of football camp are a great way for kids ages five to 12 to learn basic skills and good sportsmanship. Each session of camp costs $15. For more information or to register, please call the Red Shield Boys & Girls Club at 834-2464. Last fall, the Mabee Red Shield Cowboys 4th, 5th and 6th grade team won the American Youth Football Conference Of Oklahoma" (AYFCO) area championships. For more information or to register, please call the Red Shield Boys & Girls Club at 834-2464. Coach Sam Berry, Director of Football Operations for the Mighty Mites through 3rd graders, and volunteer coaches will coach at the football camp.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Salvation Army Responds As Temperatures Rise

Although Summer has not officially arrived, temperatures are rising in Oklahoma forcing residents to seek shade and air-conditioned buildings such as The Salvation Army in search of temporary relief from the heat.  Over the next two to three days, heat alerts are being issued due to temperatures expected to near 100 degrees and higher.

In some areas, cooling stations are offered as a respite from the soaring temperatures and high humidity. Salvation Army facilities are opening cooling centers during the afternoon to allow persons to be in a safe and cool environment. For information on a local Corp or Boys & Girls Club where you can cool down this summer call 918-587-7801.

Shelters are working hard to accommodate those in the most need such as the homeless or those who may not have adequate cooling.  At particular risk are older people, although people of any age or fitness level sometimes develop heat-related symptoms.

Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion are two the most common heat-related illnesses.   Signs of heat exhaustion include pale, moist skin; heavy sweating and nausea.  Symptoms of heat stroke include hot, red skin; changes in consciousness; shallow breathing and high body temperatures.   If someone is experiencing heat exhaustion to seek a cooler place, loosen tight clothing and drink cool water every 15 minutes.  Anyone who might be suffering from heat stroke is advised to call 911.

Proactive measures to take during this period are:

  1. Stay cool
  2. Drink plenty of water.  Dehydration may contribute to many health issues, especially in the young and elderly
  3. Check on neighbors and relatives
  4. Stay out of the sun, as much as possible, especially during the afternoon hours when the heat will be highest
  5. Monitor National Weather Service Radio and local media to be aware of heat advisories and warnings as they occur
  6. Plan now what steps to take for long periods of heat
In addition to providing cooling stations, Corps are accepting donations of fans to help pass out to those who have no air conditioning.  Although many may not think a fan is much help, it can mean the difference of life and death to elderly and disabled persons unable to get to an air conditioned environment.  To donate a fan, visit our location nearest you or call 918-587-7801 to find out where you can drop off.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Project Able Men Honored at All Souls

Project Able participants John Ross and John Oak were recognized at All Souls Unitarian Church Wed., May 26 at an annual garden party and dinner held to recognize people for their contributions to the church’s Adult Religious Education programming. The men had screened the film “How Sally Changed My Life” at the church in February at an educational forum. 

Ross created and directed the film and Oak  appeared in it. After the screening at All Souls, the men had held a Q & A session with church members. At the dinner, senior minister Rev. Marlin Lavanhar sat with Ross and Oak and talked to them about their experiences of being homeless and participating in the Project Able program at the Center of Hope homeless shelter and social services center. The men live in Project Able H.U.D. apartments while they are working, going to school and saving money for a place of their own.  The film premiered at the Circle Cinema in October and the filmmakers and other participants in the film have shown it at eight area venues incluing OU-Tulsa and other churches. 

Since the premiere, four of the seven homeless people staying at the Center of Hope who were interviewed in the film have moved to permanent housing, the goal of the social services programs at the center.

Photo: From left, front: John Oak, John Ross. Back: Sallie Godwin, Danna Vitt, member of the Adult Religious Education Board.