National Salvation Army Week, May 10-16, 2021
Dallas, Texas (May 10, 2021) – It has been said that “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.” This statement perfectly describes the 3.3. million people who give of their time, talents, and resources to annually support the mission and ministry of The Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army is excited to celebrate National Salvation Army Week, May 10-16, 2021. Since 1889, The Salvation Army has faithfully and consistently worked to help Texans in need, 365 day a year.
While there have been fewer in-person volunteer opportunities due to COVID-19, there is still a number of ways that you can safely help The Salvation Army serve those in need. “We always need volunteers to help sort and organize donations in our Family Stores and have opportunities to serve in community kitchens,” said Lt. Colonel Ronnie Raymer, Divisional Commander of The Salvation Army in Texas. “During the COVID pandemic we have seen a significant increase in the number of people seeking Food Pantry assistance, and this is an area where volunteers can be of great service, both collecting items, putting together food boxes, and helping with regular distributions. There is always something going on at The Salvation Army and we’d love you to get involved.”
Despite the ongoing pandemic, The Salvation Army enjoyed a successful 2020 Christmas effort that, as always, relied on enthusiastic local volunteer participation. Texas volunteers came through once again to support the Army’s largest annual fundraiser, the Red Kettle Campaign, and the Angel Tree program. Ringing a bell at the kettle is a fun, rewarding way to give back. It is not unusual to see parents with small children, school groups, Sunday school classes, employees from local businesses, and individuals of all ages donning the red apron at the kettle.
Mother of three, Emma, is a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. She lost her job of more than 20 years in September 2020 because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and was actively pursuing job opportunities, interviewing primarily from home. At the same time her daughter Emily needed to complete community volunteer hours as part of the requirements for her upcoming Confirmation, so Emma signed them both up to help with the Angel Tree toy distribution.
Upon arrival, the ladies were put right to work and found themselves in great demand since they are bi-lingual. The next day, Emma brought her other children, Eric and Ariana to help. For Emma, the opportunity to volunteer was a special blessing. She grew up in a family of 10 and that her father was the sole bread winner while her mother stayed home with the kids. Christmas was not about toys and opening presents for them. It was more about spending time with family. Emma vividly remembers one year when things were particularly difficult financially.
“Somehow, my Mom heard about The Salvation Army Angel Tree program. She applied and our family was adopted,” said Emma. “That was the one year I remember receiving Christmas presents as a child.” She says, “When presented the opportunity to volunteer at The Angel Tree, I was more than happy to participate This was a wonderful way to give other children the joy I felt that memorable Christmas many years ago.”
Volunteers play a crucial role in disaster response efforts by offering basic needs to those who may have lost everything. Countless volunteers came to the aid of The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) response and relief efforts in 2020 after Hurricanes Hanna, Laura, and Delta affected communities on the Southeast coastline. The Salvation Army operates an extensive and robust disaster volunteer program and trained volunteers are always the first to be deployed. Training events are hosted year-round throughout the state covering incident management, mobile kitchen operations, food service, emotional and spiritual care as well as basic first aid and CPR training. For more information or to become a disaster volunteer with The Salvation Army go to disaster.salvationarmyusa.org.
“Salvation Army volunteers have been called ‘the Army behind the Army’,” said Raymer. “What better time than National Salvation Army Week to connect to a cause that you are passionate about and know that an hour or two of your time can make an incredible difference in someone else’s life at The Salvation Army. It just might make an even bigger difference in yours.”
For more information about volunteering, or to make a donation, please visit us online at www.salvationarmytexas.org
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a broad array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org