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Jeanne Salerno receives Mesquite Salvation Army’s Volunteer of the Year award

On Thursday, March 19, at the Salvation Army’s annual volunteer appreciation dinner, Salerno was introduced as the first annual Volunteer of the Year. Salerno received a lovely bouquet and a plaque along with a standing ovation from the over 100 attendees at the dinner, most of whom have been touched by her in one way or another according to her son and long-time Exchange Club volunteer Paul Benedict.

Salerno’s name will forever be the first on a new plaque that is slated to hang in the Mesquite Family Services Center which will honor her and the future Volunteers of the Year.

Salerno is 88 years old and Benedict says she still volunteers as much time as she is able at the Mesquite Family Services Center where she greets clients and visitors, answers phones, files (she says she loves filing) and contacts the recipients of the Senior Food Program to remind them to come and pick up their food.

Benedict said, “Although her vision is compromised and her mobility is limited, her heart is strong and loving, and she has friends all over Mesquite”.

This is the second time Salerno has received the honor of Volunteer of the Year. She first received the honor in the late 90’s when she was a volunteer for an organization in upstate New York called PEACE.

Peace volunteers help people realize their potential for becoming self-reliant and self-sufficient. According to their website “PEACE, Inc. is Onondaga County’s federally designated Community Action Agency. As part of the national network of Community Action Agencies, PEACE, Inc. seeks to help people become more self-sufficient by strengthening families, improving the conditions in which people live, encouraging people to own a stake in their own community, and developing partnerships with other organizations, businesses, and individuals to support these efforts.”

Salerno not only practices what she preaches, she taught her children to give back to the community as well. Salerno’s son Paul and daughter-in-law Barb Benedict volunteer many hours for the veterans and for the Exchange Club. Paul has been a long time member of the Virgin Valley Theatre Group and has performed in many shows here in the Mesquite. The whole family is dedicated to enriching the lives of others.

Salerno lives a quiet life in the company of a very large, very spoiled black cat named Onyx. She has many friends and neighbors who think the world of her and she never has a negative word for anybody. Always willing to give a smile and lend a hand, Salerno says she can’t volunteer as much as she used to but if she couldn’t volunteer at all it would drive her crazy. Some of the people who’s lives Salerno touches on a weekly basis say, “she’s got no worries there, as much as she does for everyone, she’ll be sane forever”.

This Valentine’s Day, Do Some Good

Posted by Jackie on Friday, February 13, 2015  

Photo: Craig Dirkes, The Salvation Army Northern Division (http://salvationarmynorth.org/)Photo: Craig Dirkes, The Salvation Army Northern Division (http://salvationarmynorth.org/)

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow and while these while there are endless ways to show your affection to that someone special with gifts and chocolates- maybe this year make give a gift that not only shows how much you care, but that also gives back to those in need. Whether you are attached or single, make it a day to remember by making an impact in your community.
To help you get a start on your Valentine’s Day planning, here are a few ideas on how you can spread the love:
Volunteer:
Volunteers are crucial to organizations like The Salvation Army. And we are always looking for helping hands and giving hearts. Please contact your local Salvation Army unit to find out how you can offer your time. For a list of other projects in your community, visit www.Serve.gov or type in your zip code at www.volunteermatch.org.
Donate Food:
Got plans to cook a romantic meal? This year while you’re at store, grab a few extra canned goods or other nonperishables and donate to your local food bank. Maybe volunteer at a food bank with your loved one, help to package meals together, or help host a party for single moms and their kids or do a charity run.
Visit a Senior Citizen:
Be a sweetheart this year and visit a senior citizen at your local nursing home. Brighten their day with a care package, flowers, a hot meal, or plan an enjoyable activity.
Decluttler that closet:
Did you know that you’re donated goods fund our Adult Rehabilitation Centers, which helps save the lives of approximately 200,000 individuals each year? Get a jump start on spring by decluttering gently used items from your home. You can schedule a pickup or find a drop-off location by visiting www.satruck.org.
Donate in the name of love:
The average American will spend $142.31 celebrating Valentine’s Day this year. Consider skipping those fancy reservations and show someone how much you care by making a donation to your charity of choice in their honor. Now that is love!
Learn more about The Salvation Army here.

Category: Doing The Most Good · Tags: Donate, The Salvation Army, Valentines Day, Volunteer

paid volunteer work

Volunteer Gets ‘Paid’ at Disasters

paid volunteer work

I have been a volunteer with Salvation Army Disaster Services for several years. I went to a flood site as a ham radio operator and somehow ended up as a volunteer radio operator, mobile kitchen driver, and food server.

In my experiences, I have seen sadness, human suffering, tragedy, and incredible damage in which survivors have lost everything. As a major in the U.S. Army once said, “If you can go to a Hurricane Katrina and not be affected, I worry about your heart.”

When you hold a person who is sobbing nonstop, when a person is grateful for a hot dog and coffee, when a small child smiles when they have a cup of hot chocolate and a cookie, you realize why you are there. You also realize you are helping when you are listening and talking with them, hearing their stories and giving them a chance to vent.

When people ask if I’m a disaster volunteer, I tell them, “Yes, and I get paid.” Their look is incredulous and they ask, “You get paid?” I always reply, “Yes, with a handshake, a ‘God bless you,’ a hug, a thank you, and the smile on a small child who has a hot dinner. Yes, I get paid – and money can’t buy that feeling.”

There is also camaraderie with other volunteers, survivors and relief workers. We are in it together, so let us work together.

Being a disaster volunteer is extremely rewarding, and an opportunity to pay it forward to those people who have helped you in your life. You are helping survivors and you are supporting the police, the fire department, and others who protect your community. All it takes is a little of your free time.

Get involved with The Salvation Army
Blog by Frank Powers, Salvation Army Disaster Services volunteer

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Day One Down & Four Remain For World Record!

We are just past  the 24 hour mark of our World Record Bell Ringing contest and four bell ringers are still ringing strong!

This contest raises awareness for The Salvation Army’s 123rd annual Red Kettle Campaign while posing an exciting opportunity to set a new world record.

World Record Bell RingingContestant Andre Thompson of Tyler. TX is still up and going outside in front of Walgreens. He’s very motivated and physically still feels great!

Sprits are looking good so far, “I love this! My body is really holding up well”, says contestant Andre Thompson of Tyler, TX.  “I think the record is mine. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! In the end it’s mind over matter!”

 

 

 

World Record Bell RingingLt. Rob Lawler in Helena, MT is still smiling while ringing in NINE degree whether. Brr!

 

 

 

 

Captain Emily Jones of Compton, CA was the first to hang up her bell around 9:00 p.m  PT. She was ringing outside Walgreens.  The next contestant to lay down his bell was Quinton Green at 4:15 a.m PT. He was ringing outside of Walmart in Hanford, CA.

 

World Record Bell Ringing

We thank Captain Jones and Quinton for their valiant effort raising awareness for The Salvation Army!
Captain James Brickson is bringing joy at Northbridge Mall in Albert Lea. MN.

We are grateful for each of our participants. Their incredible effort will help The Salvation Army provide assistance to millions in need this Christmas and all year round.  So thank you!

 

 

Join in the conversation and support these volunteers with #Ringiton on Twitter.
And don’t’ forget to check back here for updates! Visit: www.Facebook.com/SalvationArmyUSA and www.Twitter.com/SalvationArmyUS for all updates.
Keep up the great work!

Posted by Jackie on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 ·

Grocery Shopping This Week? Throw a Few More Items in Your Cart for Families in Need

It’s Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, a week dedicated to awareness, education, homelessness, food insecurity, and poverty as it affects those in our community and world.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, this week provides an excellent opportunity to donate a box of canned goods and other nonperishable items to your local Salvation Army to ensure a Thanksgiving meal for a family in need. Visit www.SalvationArmyUSA.org for a list of locations near you.

And check out how The Salvation Army will serve communities this Thanksgiving and beyond, thanks to this video provided by The Salvation Army Vision Network (SAVN).

Posted by Megan

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Christmas Angel Tree: Here’s How To Give and Receive

Salvation Army Angel Tree Program

Photo: The Salvation Army North: https://www.facebook.com/SalvationArmyNorth

The true impact of the Great Recession is tough to measure. Americans have lost money, jobs and homes. Our families and friends may have fallen on hard times. Some who had little to begin with now have less and are working harder everyday to make it to tomorrow.

These same families who are struggling to meet the financial demands of day-to-day life question how they might provide a gift or two for their children on Christmas Day.

Every child deserves to experience the joy of Christmas morning. And thanks to supporters of The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program, thousands of American children will find this waiting under their Christmas trees this year.

The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program provides new clothing or toys for children of needy families through the support of donors. Found in local companies and corporations, Angel Trees are decorated with numbered paper angel tags with the first name, age and gender of a child in need of presents. Contributors remove one or more tags from the tree and purchase appropriate gifts for the child or children described on the tags.
Support an Angel this Christmas!
Give Joy:
To support an Angel in your town, contact your local Salvation Army by entering your zip code at www.SalvationArmyUSA.org.
Give Hands:

In many locations, The Salvation Army needs volunteers to help distribute the gifts along with food for holiday meals to the participating families.  Often times, employees and family members of the sponsoring organization help distribute their group’s gifts throughout their community.  Community volunteer and service groups; church groups and retired senior volunteer programs often aid The Salvation Army during the holidays and throughout the year, but more volunteers are always needed.Salvation Army Angel Tree program

Share the Joy:
If you and your organization, church, business or club would like to sponsor an Angel Tree in your community, please contact your local Salvation Army offices. Information about The Salvation Army and contact information for local offices are available on the Internet at www.salvationarmyusa.org.

Do you need help this year providing your children with gifts?

Families are typically registered in the months of October and November. Many sign-ups have already started. To learn more about dates and eligibility in your local community, contact your local Salvation Army by entering your zip code at www.salvationarmyusa.org.

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U.S. Army Soldier Serves Oklahoma Survivors Alongside Salvation Army

Posted by Megan on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 · Leave a Comment 

The following was contributed by Krachel Greenwood, E-Communications Manager for The Salvation Army Wisconsin and Upper Michigan Divisional Headquarters. Krachel has been serving with The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) teams on the ground in Oklahoma since the disaster struck. 

From the client side of the desk, Gregory Von-Dollen is just another smiling face sitting at the Multi-Agency Resource Center located at Westmoore High School in Moore, Oklahoma.

Von-Dollen, an Oklahoma native, was out of state when tornadoes touched down in May. But he knew he had to help.

“The whole purpose was for me to come out and help my community. Since being wounded it has become my sense of duty to return that service the community has given me,” Von-Dollen explains.

In October of 2009 Von-Dollen joined the United States Army. Thirteen months later he was involved in a motorcycle accident which severely injured his left leg. He broke his hip, received 2-3 fractions in his femur and 25+ breaks in his tibia. He underwent two years of limb salvage, but in June of 2012 an amputation was performed, due to building blood clots in his leg.

Von-Dollen prevailed. He has stayed active duty with the United States Army and is currently receiving treatment at WTB (Warrior Transition Battallion), Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. Specialist Von-Dollen knows what it means to be Army Strong; he also knows what it means to be Oklahoma Strong.

“People don’t understand the resiliency Oklahoma has – don’t seem to understand the spirit people here have,” he explains.

When Von-Dollen’s leg was amputated he was pushed to get back in the saddle.

“I’ve been skydiving, rock climbing, fishing, bowling, SCUBA diving and gone on multiple hunting trips,” he says. He’s also taken up hand cycling – and logged his longest ride at 25 miles.

For those stopping by Spc. Von-Dollen’s spot at The Salvation Army’s table, a genuine smile is a welcomed one.

“A lot of people are still at the point of not wanting to share. One woman wasn’t home but her son was. He dove into a small closet and after the tornado passed by a neighbor stopped by and heard him screaming. The neighbor broke through the sheetrock and helped him out,” he says.

Von-Dollen plans to volunteer with The Salvation Army for four days. He looks forward to finishing his leave by spending time with family before returning to Texas.