Jennifer Granger Community Activist: From Fighting Fires to Fighting Homelessness

Apr 26, 2021


Jennifer Granger’s (photographed above with Commissioner Kenneth Hodder) love and passion for helping others started in high school, when she became the first female firefighter in her small Connecticut hometown at just 17-years-old.

“I was told I couldn’t be a volunteer firefighter because I was a girl,” Jennifer recalls. “But my drive and dedication to make my community a better place is what shattered that first glass ceiling – and after attending firefighting school, I ended up with the department for a year and a half.”

It has been years since that first volunteer firefighting job, but every job Jennifer has had since then has allowed her to open her arms and her heart to help the people in her community. She has joined and advocated for countless charities and nonprofit organizations in New York, California, and now, Michigan – including The Salvation Army, where she is a national board member.

“I became familiar with The Salvation Army’s mission during my time in Sacramento, and when our family moved to metro Detroit in 2017, I wanted to remain involved with the organization,” Jennifer adds. “I cannot put into words all the incredible things The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit does for the people of southeast Michigan, and it is a privilege to be part of something so wonderful.”

Jennifer is a community activist and remains actively involved with nearly 30 charities and nonprofits throughout the country, as well as 12 others in the metro Detroit area, including The Salvation Army. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Jennifer connected The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s office to help the organization provide food and diapers to residents. She also helped deliver clothes, toys, and donations to The Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center, as well as thousands of food boxes to Corps Community Centers in Detroit, Farmington Hills, and Pontiac.

A common theme surrounding all of Jennifer’s charitable work is helping underprivileged children and families, and she has even more plans to volunteer and help organizations that exclusively cater to individuals experiencing homelessness. She is a volunteer in every sense of the word.

When asked why others should get involved? Jennifer responds, “People should volunteer because proximity to the issue is very valuable. You cannot talk about the issues unless you are seeing them firsthand – and you cannot be passionate about the issue unless you are doing hands on work.”

April 2021 is Volunteer Month. All month long, The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division recognizes, celebrates and thanks its incredible volunteers for their commitment, dedication and support to help Do The Most Good. Learn more about volunteering with The Salvation Army.

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