When anyone visits any charitable organization, they would see a hustle and bustle of work going on -some organized and some seemingly chaotic.
Frequently, if not consistently, the mountain of work far exceeds the time available and capabilities of employees for the particular organization. Although most employees go far beyond what is expected of them by their employer, it is still not enough to meet the massive needs of their organization and the community they serve.
This is the point where many volunteers step up to the challenge to make a difference and provide that extra “oomph” in an attempt to serve the needs of the community.
The Social Services Department of The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command is no exception to the rule. With a limited paid staff of seven individuals, some of which are only part time or temporary employees, this department would not be able to demonstrate the level of commitment, sincerity and devotion to helping those less fortunate than ourselves without the massive support of its volunteers.
Volunteers to this organization include people from all walks of life.
Most are normal individuals like you and me that just want to do something for others. Some are independently wealthy, while others are on welfare programs. Some are high school and college students who volunteer for credit that is required by a class that they are taking. Some are individuals that are assigned by the courts to complete a certain amount of community service.
Some are groups of retirees that want to help others as a group, while staying in contact with past co-workers. Some are members of our “Women’s Auxiliary” that devote countless hours as well as dollars to provide support to The Salvation Army, its clients and programs.
There are individuals that are either currently out of work or retired that want to contribute to the community by donating their time and special skills for various programs such as Utility Assistance, Warmth 4 Winter, Back to School, Food Pantry, Thanksgiving and Christmas programs, etc….
Without mentioning names, there is one special group of volunteers that have provided untold hours (thousands) as well as personal funding during the calendar year 2011 by taking a “personal ownership” of The Social Services Department of The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command’s Food Pantry. Although the food pantry functions without the aid of this group of volunteers, it has become much more efficient and organized with their guidance and efforts during 2011.
This family of volunteers has gone above and beyond what is hoped to be accomplished by most organizations’ volunteers. This group of volunteers includes about six individuals who, since March of 2011, have worked at the food pantry. They have cleaned; sorted, built shelving and assembled mobile racks purchased by the Women’s Auxiliary, totally re-organized the food pantry from what it used to be to become more efficient, and trained others in the community to be productive volunteers.
As many know, the shopping carts are an essential part of our food pantry service delivery system. This group secured (30) shopping carts, which are used in our Social Services Department and during Christmas Ministry distribution. The carts help our clients, especially our senior citizen and disabled clients, to transport their food orders to their vehicle versus carrying them.
When they get bored with the hum drum of the food pantry, they can even be seen sorting and organizing the thousands of coats that are donated in the “Warmth 4 Winter” program.
We are fortunate to have many contributors to our mission. Please know we are truly grateful for every dollar, every can, every gift-in-kind and every volunteer hour received.
So the question of “Who Needs Volunteers” can be answered simply by saying that we all do. It goes without saying that The Salvation Army could not achieve its promise of “Doing The Most Good” without the efforts of all of our volunteers.