“The staff has appreciated my volunteering, but I see my time serving as having a purpose.
Through navigating a difficult childhood and addiction, I received support from doctors, emergency rooms, and counseling; you name it. In recovery, giving back to the community serving me all these years became important. This is where I found, The Salvation Army.
It all started when I was looking for a place to give back around the holidays, so I volunteered for the Angel Tree program and as a bell ringer for the Red Kettle program. Ringing that bell outside storefronts, I heard countless testimonies from recipients and donors about how The Salvation Army shaped their lives. These families and individuals received many blessings through programs like the Boys and Girls Club, the Merkle Center of Hope Shelter, and daily community meals.
After the holiday season, I asked the Major how I could continue helping. He was taken aback and grateful for my offer because most volunteers return to living their daily lives after the holidays. Initially, I started by assisting in the kitchen. As I washed dishes and sorted the food donations, Miss Stephanie, the Head Chef, and I got to know each other and bonded. She later offered me the opportunity to advance and grow in my responsibilities by preparing side dishes and desserts.
I’m seven years out of recovery and feeling more vital than ever because of my faith in God. In recovery, I learned about God. I knew that God loved me just as I am right now. He doesn’t love me for the person I should be because I will never be perfect, but for how I am right now. Once I learned that God is always forgiving and never punishing, I gained faith. And that faith has impacted my entire life. I no longer worry or stress about necessities because my faith allows me to trust that everything will fall into place.
God truly knows how to turn the ugly into something beautiful.
I thank God for The Salvation Army and the people that work in this ministry. I came from having a cell phone with one number to call my mom. Now, if I ever need anything, I have dozens of contacts made through my service with The Salvation Army. This is my family now, and I’m ever grateful for everyone in my life at The Salvation Army.