To : Chris_Priest@uss.salvationarmy.org"
Dear Sir: I have not received a response from the Oklahoma City Area Command concerning what remedy or not was taken to address the issue of the children suffering shame and hunger.In your letter that you sent to me it was indicated that I would receive some response by some one contacting me through my email . I did go to the office at 311 SW 5th and was steered to Ernie the marketing director, as everyone was out for the day or had gone home.I've learned from others that this is a common tactic employed when people come to make a complaint concerning the treatment or not they received from the Salvation Army.He was civil and listened to my observation which included a letter in writing that he made a copy of for his records.I clarified to him ,as he was under a wrong impression, that this woman was a walk in and did not reside in the shelter, as if that should have made a difference. I need to know what action was taken ,if any to insure this behavior displayed by Crystal the cook would not be directed at innocent "children "again, before I proceed to write the next part of my excerpt. I want to write an informed article and hopefully it has a happy ending,for Crystal and the children. If I do not receive a response, I will be forced to write what I assume happened and it will basically say that I did not receive a response but also include all the info and actions taken concerning this issue. All the links to the area website are dead... a fact.No contact info,emails...just a dead site. But the phone numbers are accessible.I can find and publish them. Teodoro Leon III
From Chris Priest in response to above letter.6/02/2008
Thank you for your email. I have contacted the office in Oklahoma City and sent them your further email. God bless you!
From Ernie Potter,Business Administrator,Oklahoma City Salvation Army,311 SW5th.6/03/08
First, let me correct your misconception. I am not the Marketing Director.
I am the Business Administrator. In that capacity, I wear many hats,
including Human Resources Director. It is my practice to receive
complaints, listen to the complaints, and take those complaints to the
proper department heads, insuring that the complaints are investigated.
This is not, as you infer, a scam to get rid of complainers, but an actual
attempt on my part to take care of problems.
Let me repeat--I am not PR, I am part of the solution.
After you left my office, I took your complaint to Toni Sanders, Director
of Social Services. Janet Miller, Residential Services Manager was not in
her office that afternoon, as she was in meetings all afternoon, but Ms.
Sanders passed this complaint on to her as did I on her return to the
office. Rest assured that we take these complaints very seriously and are
attempting to correct the problem. Additionally, the lady who brought her
grandchildren in that afternoon also came in the next day and gave Ms.
Sanders a written incident report. In response to this situation, we have
warned our kitchen staff that rudeness and condescencion will not be
tolerated. Because of the conflicts in our schedules, it will be Thursday
of this week before we can have a full staff meeting with our kitchen staff
to work on their people skills, but we will continue to reinforce the fact
that we will not tolerate such behavior.
As for disciplinary measures, those matters are confidential, so they will
not be discussed with you or with anyone else. I'm certain that you can
respect the fact that we are both legally and morally obligated to use the
utmost discretion and confidentiality in such matters.
Please also understand that people don't completely change overnight. It
is our goal to end bad behavior immediately, then to work with our staff to
improve their attitudes. The ultimate improvement of attitude will more
than likely be gradual, so don't expect overnight transformations. People
will be people--we just want them to be good people.
Please also keep in mind the fact that while we may not be perfect, we feed
a large number of people every night and we neither ask nor expect payment.
Our staff, however, needs to understand why we feed people. It's not a
human obligation on our part (we don't owe these people anything in a
strictly worldly way), but it is a scriptural and spiritual obligation to
our God. We are to love one another and Christ says that when we have
"done this to the least of these, you have done it to me." That's our
motivation and that's what we are trying to teach our staff.
Be patient with us. We're human and frail, but we'll get it done.
Once again, thank you for coming to see me. Things don't get better if we
don't know there's a problem.From A letter sent to me by Ernie Potter ,sent June 3rd,Tuesday,2008
My response!Sent 6/03/2008
Yes,very many thanks Mr. Potter. As I want you to know, I was impressed with your candor and sincerity during our brief meeting and as I told Pastor Dale Tremper I believed your disposition or you were an exceptionally good actor. Pastor Tremper informed me that he knew you and that your heart was in the right place.That was enough for me. As to receiving a response, as informed by Chris Priest, by the person responsible for writing to me, it didn't happen,but your letter makes up for that.I understand fully what you have stated in your letter and am satisfied. I do believe in all the areas you touched on and why.Privacy.In house investigation.
I never intended for Crystal to be fired or punished.I believe in redemption for all.She and her staff are fine cooks.Though, your investigation might find that she has 2-3 freezers in her home possibly filled with items intended for the public,hence the motivation for her behaviors, from the investigation I made into her,though my sources are biased and tainted by anger.Caused by her behaviors.Cause and effect.The things that she thought she did in secret and that she thought would never be revealed have to come to light and that should help correct her actions that are not only hurting the public,your organization's image ,but her dignity and honor,too.
Yes ,this is a positive result that will benefit all,including us.I do apologize for having to use a tactic to get a response and for not realizing your true position . I would have researched it but the website for your Salvation Army is dead.Only the top of the page is visible and all the buttons are inoperable.
Again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart and sincerely consider you my friend and a friend of Christ .It was a pleasure to meet you and work with you through this issue and situation.
The healing begins.Alleluia! Amen. Sincerely ,Teodoro Leon III.