A Culture of Service

Apr 23, 2021

Inside the heart of every Salvation Army volunteer is the desire to serve someone in need. When these individuals come together to answer their call to serve, powerful change is created!

That is why we call our volunteers: the army behind The Army.

The businesses and organizations that create a foundation in our communities are no strangers to service. These local leaders are always seeking the next way they can create a positive impact for those who support their work. Many find that The Salvation Army offers the perfect way to connect their business with local community's needs - through volunteer service!

Without our business and corporate volunteers, there are many huge successes that our mission would have failed to bring about. The changes these businesses help create in partnership with The Salvation Army are unforgettable and often set the example for others in the community to follow.

Henson Disposal & Recycling is owned by Tom and Tim Kirk. This business is a major part of their interest in helping Central Illinois, where their children call home. Tom and Tim are dedicated to creating jobs, cleaning the environmental and helping the local economic state. In this pursuit, and specifically throughout the operation of Henson Disposal, the Kirks have seen immense support from the local community members of Bloomington/Normal, IL. 

After seeing how strongly this community's supported them, it wasn't even a question - 

Tom & Tim wanted to give back to those in need locally and join in this culture of unity.

The opportunity to begin giving back presented itself like most volunteer initiatives do: with a friend and a passion. Tom knew Pat Dunagan who was a longtime valued volunteer at The Salvation Army Safe Harbor Shelter in Bloomington. Pat specifically was served in the shelter's kitchen and Tom loved to cook. It didn't take long for Tom to begin involving Henson employees with this wonderful volunteer opportunity. In 2016, he began asking if anyone would be interested in volunteering together as a rotating group. Over 5 years later and Henson employees, friends and family all join together at the Safe Harbor Shelter kitchen to volunteer monthly. 

These volunteer moments have taught Henson staff and family that there is as much being given to them, as to the shelter residents whom they serve. Employees have learned more about each other by volunteering together. Children have joined their parents and felt the value of participating in the community's service needs. All of this has gifted the monthly volunteers with a sense of compassion, gratefulness and open heart. Tom & Tim recognize that these qualities not only develop great employees, but great people in general.

The culture of service that Henson has fostered internally, all began with the support Bloomington showed to the Kirks. Now they want to this culture back into the community by sharing their experiences volunteering with The Salvation Army. Henson staff and friends all think that the most important thing for others to know about volunteering is that there is no need for long time commitment - start small!

They are certain that the positive impacts on the mind, body and soul will encourage more volunteer service. The most simple ways of joining in this culture of service will still connect you to another person in need. In this moment there is a shared sense of purpose, community and hope. The Henson volunteers feel this special connection every time they are in the Safe Harbor kitchen!

Connecting local business to local needs can be hard to coordinate. The Salvation Army is proud to be able to offer a mission that local community businesses can stand behind and serve their neighbors in need. For National Volunteer Week, we thank all of our corporate and business volunteers for creating a culture of service in our communities.

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