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Volunteer reception provides insight on Salvation Army

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader

 

Betty Harmon may be one of the longest-serving members of the Salvation Army Advisory Board Life Member with 50 years of service.

“I enjoy being able to help people in need in our community,” Harmon said during a recent Volunteer Reception at Salvation Army.

The event was an opportunity for the children to show off what they were learning at the Boys and Girls Club as they tanked the many volunteers for making it happen.

All the children wrote letters and five were selected to be read during the evening.

“We did 300 baskets in 30 minutes, “ Harmon said laughing. “We had so many volunteers we were able to do it in record time this year.”

Captain Jan Zuniga said the volunteer base is growing.

“We can’t do what we do without the community,” Zuniga said. “We are investing in new programs such as the choir and the Bible Drill Team. We need help all year long.”

Zuniga added through volunteers the children learn there are other career options and there is more than sports and singing.

“One brand new goal we have is to have five volunteers to come in when the staff is sick,” Zuniga said. “It would not be every day or all the same day. But we need someone who would be able to come and fill in when a staff member has to call out.”

The organization is also looking for individuals who can help children with homework or reading.

“Some of the children need one on one help,” Zuniga added. “We are looking in the community for those to be trained.”

There are also openings for the food pantry one day a week. It needs to be stocked in the morning and bagged up in the afternoon.

“If you want to meet people being helped in the community, this is for you,” Zuniga said. “Maybe a Church Sunday School Class? Volunteers make the difference.”

Salvation Army is also looking for volunteers to help at the thrift store.

“The funds from the store are used to operate the club and social services we provide,” Zuniga said. “We need help sorting donated items or to shelf the items. The store makes a big difference.”

Of course, the more volunteer bell ringers at Christmas time means more funds for programs.

But volunteers are needed throughout the year.

“Maybe one can sit on a committee?” You don’t have to be a board member to do that,” Zuniga said.

“This is neighbors helping neighbors,” Betty Harmon said.

If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering can contact the organization at (409) 291-8400 or visit them at the corner of MLK and Strickland in Orange.