Volunteers from all walks of life strongly support The Salvation Army in almost all of its activities. They devote their time and talents year-round to activities such as tutoring and mentoring youth, coaching sports activities, serving meals to the homeless, visiting and comforting the elderly and sick and with special fundraising activities.
As a volunteer for The Salvation Army, you have the opportunity to work with the local expression of a worldwide movement that seeks the spiritual redemption and social rehabilitation of those it serves. The Salvation Army believes in meeting the need where the need is. As a result of this belief, volunteer opportunities are located where the human needs and problems arise – in local communities and neighborhoods. The Salvation Army offers a variety of established volunteer programs and is always looking to find others whom we can help serve their fellow man.
In addition to these established programs, The Salvation Army works with volunteers from diverse backgrounds and interest to provide them with opportunities that are best suited to match their skills and service aim.
A major factor in the development and growth of The Salvation Army services has been the support given by community leaders. This “army behind the Army” interprets community needs, explains programs to the community and provides support to the Army’s efforts to render effective service. These friends give valued advice and cooperation through their membership. The Advisory Board is charged with the responsibility of advising Salvation Armies in all their activities in a particular community. The Advisory Board also renders valuable services in relations with united appeals and other agencies in the community.
The Women’s Auxiliary functions as a fundraising and volunteer service group. The purpose of the Auxiliary is to assist in cooperation with the Advisory Board with all Salvation Army activities in the community and to provide volunteer workers for the many projects connected with the religious and humanitarian endeavors of The Salvation Army.
At no other time of the year are volunteers needed more than during the Christmas Holiday. Committed and dedicated helpers are needed to provide services in a vast array of areas. These include, but are not limited to:
Red Kettle Campaign – The Salvation Army Red Kettle/Bell Ringing Program is a tradition which provides you the opportunity to meet the public and support The Salvation Army in a unique way. Bell-Ringers are needed to man the kettle while ringing the familiar bell and wishing shoppers a joyous holiday season. The Red Kettle Campaign is the primary fundraising effort of The Salvation Army. By volunteering to be a Bell-Ringer you are helping to raise the much needed funds to support The Salvation Army services and programs throughout the year.
Angel Tree – The Angel Tree Program provides volunteers the opportunity to give back in a special way. Volunteers choose a child that they would like to shop for and help make that child’s Christmas a little brighter by purchasing clothes and toys for them. “Angels” can be adopted from Christmas trees set up at local shopping malls, stores and participating corporations or by contacting your local Salvation Army directly.
Food Drive – Donations of canned and non-perishable food items is one way that you can help your Salvation Army throughout the year as the need to provide well-balanced meals to hungry families is always present. At Christmas time, however, canned food drives assist The Salvation Army both in providing food baskets to help supplement Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinners and to assist with special dinners in our feeding programs. Volunteers are needed to organize canned food drivers for local community groups, schools, church groups and corporations.
Dress-A-Bear Program – Volunteers who want the chance to put their creative skills to use can assist The Salvation Army by participating in the Dress-A-Bear program. Your local Salvation Army will provide you with a teddy bear which you can then give its own personality by dressing it in a one-of-a-kind outfit created or coordinated by you. The dressed bears are distributed to needy children for Christmas.
Stocking Stuffers – If you don’t have the time or are not financially able to participate in the Angel Tree Program by adopting an angel but would still like to help with this program, one way you can do so is by filling stockings. The Salvation Army will provide you with as many mesh stockings as you would like. You will then determine for what sex and age you would like the stocking to be and then fill it with small items appropriate for that age group. The stockings are then distributed as part of the Christmas Program.
Distribution Day – After every angel, toy, bear, and stocking has been collected, dressed, and stuffed, there comes the task of getting everything ready for pick-up by parents or guardians. This requires a great deal of sorting and organizing. Volunteers are needed to help with these tasks in the days proceeding pick-up as well as helping to gather packages and assist parents on distribution day.
Volunteers are a integral part of The Salvation Army’s Disaster Services Program. Volunteers provide hands-on service to communities and individuals during times of disaster or catastrophe. This service may include preparing and serving food and beverages to victims and workers from mobile feeding units (canteens), collecting, sorting and distributing clothing and supplies to victims, assisting with emergency shelters, or helping with clean-up and rebuilding efforts.
As a volunteer with Salvation Army youth programs you have the unique opportunity to make a difference in the life of a child. Salvation Army Programs and Clubs abound with opportunities for you to change the life of child. Whether it be by leading or assisting with Salvation Army programs such as Girl Guards, Sunbeams, and Adventure Corps or as a volunteer for your local Salvation Army club as a tutor, coach, teacher or recreation assistant, you will find no reward greater than the look of appreciation that can be found in the eyes of a child whom you have taken the time to help.
League of Mercy
The League of Mercy Program is an expression of love in the best traditions of The Salvation Army’s service and it truly reflects the ideal of giving hearts to God and hands to man. Men, women and young people spend time making personal visits and conducting services to cheer lonely and sick people across the nation. Whether it be patients in hospitals (including Veterans Administration Medical Centers), nursing homes and institutions, or others unable to care for themselves (shut-ins, disabled, blind), the League of Mercy volunteer provides warm, personal attention and often times the patients only link to the outside world.
During the Christmas Season, volunteers of the League of Mercy program deliver thousands of gifts to those who must spend their holidays confined to bed or far away from loved ones.
All Salvation Army Programs and Services are based on community needs and therefore may vary from location to location. For more information about how you can make difference by volunteering with The Salvation Army, please contact your local Salvation Army.