How an alcoholic goes from nothingness to an inspiration
Working in the warehouse of a Salvation Army Family store is anything but glamorous. Working in the warehouse of the Family Store in Lafayette, Louisiana there’s never a dull moment. Fay Portier is the Lafayette Corps warehouse manager.
“Sometimes it’s hectic, but you gotta keep going,” said Portier
This week’s highlight is what looks to be an Olympic gold medal…or at least a replica.
With the help of Corps Officers, Majors Mel and Esther James, Portier stopped long enough to share his personal story with me. Portier is always on the go. He starts his pick up route at 7am and returns to the store by ten to begin sorting donations so they can be sold in the front of the store. Portier knows staying busy is better than where he’s been.
Portier will celebrate four years sober November eleventh.
“I finally got tired of waking up drunk,” said Portier.
Working his way through The Salvation Army’s adult rehabilitation program, Portier first started out as a bell ringer, then served as the driver going around Lafayette picking up donated items. A year later, his current position came open.
Portier is now a corps soldier and Sunday school teacher, sharing the Word and passing on his experiences to men who need his guidance. It’s a role he never thought he’d be in.
“I would have never thought that, but I just tell them to trust in God, and The Salvation Army. They’ll help you get on your feet, get on track,” said Portier.
Clothes, shoes and other goods are dropped off at The Salvation Army when they’re not wanted anymore. Through our stores, they become repurposed and needed again by someone else.
Fay Portier came to The Salvation Army not knowing if his life would ever be of use to anyone. The Lord has given him a new purpose, and he is definitely needed. He’s needed to provide a positive influence in the lives of the many people he comes in contact with each week.