Salvation Army Volunteers Named “Volunteer of the Year”

by John McAlister
Categories: Feature
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salvationarmy_volunteerweekNational Volunteer Week, April 18-24, is the biggest celebration of volunteers and volunteerism in Canada. The Salvation Army recognizes and celebrates the achievements and hard work of its volunteers who, from coast to coast, fill close to 130,000 volunteer positions. Without volunteers, The Salvation Army couldn’t provide its wide-range of services that help those in need.

Recently, in Summerside, P.E.I. those who help out The Salvation Army were named the city’s “Volunteer of the Year.”

The following is reprinted with permission by The Journal Pioneer:

Without them, The Salvation Army couldn’t do its work to help others. They cut vegetables, serve soup, sort through mounds of donated items and shop for Christmas gifts for needy families.

For offering a hand up, not a hand out, The Salvation Army’s volunteers have been named Summerside’s Volunteer of the Year. (2009)

“There’s no way The Salvation Army in Summerside could do what they do for Prince County without the vast number of volunteers we have around us,” said Marj Montgomery. “That goes from the people that work in the soup kitchen to the people that help with the Christmas campaign to the people that make donations because they are volunteers, really.”

The volunteers come from all walks of life, from retirees, couples, church groups and youth to those who’ve been helped by the organization.

“We have a volunteer base for the soup kitchen…a volunteer list for the retail store…for community and family services for the food bank and that area,” said Montgomery. “Then we have a volunteer list of those that just help us with whatever we’re doing, from buying Christmas presents to buying supplies to looking after our truck to going out and doing pick-up and deliveries.”

Montgomery and Majors Priscilla and Willis Drover are the Summerside Salvation Army’s only full-time staff.

When it comes to running the soup kitchen, food bank, thrift store, church and other programs, volunteers are vital. But The Salvation Army receives help from more than those who give of their time in these areas.

People man collection kettles during the holidays, collect non-perishable items during the Postal Food Drive, hold fundraisers in aid of the food bank and donate items and services to help The Salvation Army.

Montgomery considers all these people The Salvation Army’s volunteers.

“Some come from as far away as Alberton and O’Leary, We have one lady who comes from Kinkora and she’s there every Tuesday.”

Knowing that there are so many people in Prince County willing to help The Salvation Army help others is overwhelming.

“Volunteerism comes from the heart. Everyone of them has a special place in my heart because every one of them has a special gift.”

By Nancy MacPhee

How You Can Volunteer

Anyone can volunteer. By volunteering your time you can make a difference in your community. Getting started is easy. Click here. (http://www.salvationarmy.ca/volunteer/ )