Two Ways to Volunteer in Place with The Salvation Army this National Volunteer Week
While this might not seem like a time for celebrating, we at The Salvation Army are excited. It’s National Volunteer Week! And we’re rolling out some new volunteer opportunities so YOU can help people impacted by the coronavirus while staying safe at home.
Making a Difference
At The Salvation Army, we love our volunteers. They are the backbone of our efforts to Do the Most Good throughout greater Chicagoland, northern Illinois, and northwestern Indiana. We wouldn’t be able to serve more than a million people every year – offering meals, housing, disaster recovery, mentoring for at-risk kids, and so much more – without these selfless people pitching in their time and talents.
These volunteers mean all the more now, as we face the challenges and uncertainties of COVID-19. “Our volunteers are the army behind the Army,” said Suzie Brashler, volunteer resource manager for The Salvation Army’s Metropolitan Division. “We couldn't pack and deliver 3,500 emergency meal boxes each week without the efforts of our volunteers to forward The Salvation Army's mission.”
However, the coronavirus has presented new challenges to our volunteers’ efforts. Many of our regular volunteers are older, and we are encouraging them to follow CDC guidelines and stay home. Social distancing recommendations also make some of our regular volunteer work a bit tricky. Still, Suzie noted, the needs remain high, and, “There is a genuine desire from the community to help their neighbors in need right now.”
Volunteering in Place
So, we began brainstorming some creative ways for people to help the thousands of individuals The Salvation Army helps every week, especially those impacted by coronavirus. Two ideas topped the list. We’re asking for volunteers to write letters to the residents of Booth Manor, our senior housing facility, and Booth Lodge, our homeless shelter, and to make face masks for our staff, volunteers, and the vulnerable individuals we serve.
“The simple act of sending a greeting card can go a long way,” said Suzie. “When I shared the idea with Natesha Newton, Service Coordinator at Booth Manor, she shared, ‘Yes, that would be awesome!! I know my residents would greatly appreciate that, with them not being able to see their family on a daily basis. Thank you so much for thinking about us during these trying times.’"
Suzie’s goals are big – enough greeting cards for the 58 residents at Booth Manor and every family at Booth Lodge, and enough face masks for each of our staff and volunteers. Knowing our volunteers, she has every confidence these needs will be met – and then some.
“I hope the cards will bring a glimmer of hope to our residents and the face masks will allow our staff and volunteers to feel safe while continuing to serve vulnerable individuals who rely on the help of The Salvation Army to feed themselves and loved ones during this time,” Suzie said.
Find these and other opportunities to help on our volunteering page. All the details and directions for these two at-home volunteer opportunities can be found here:
“Whether you spend five minutes writing one card or five hours working diligently at the sewing machine, thank you!” said Suzie. “Your selfless act will bring smiles to people's face – whether or not they are covered up by a face mask!”
Learn about all the ways The Salvation Army is responding to the coronavirus – as well as how you can help – at salarmychicago.org/coronavirus.
Help The Salvation Army Do the Most Good
For tax purposes: The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division EIN is 36-2167910.