National Volunteer Week spotlight: The Salvation Army is Darius Mister’s ‘Home away from home’
National Volunteer Week is April 17-23, when people across the country come together to serve others and improve their communities. Feel the joy of helping others by signing up to volunteer for The Salvation Army.
Volunteering for The Salvation Army has helped transform Darius Mister into the incredible man, father and employee that he is today.
Darius has spent the past three years volunteering at the Eastside Salvation Army in St. Paul, with duties in the food pantry, janitorial, facility management, and security.
“I love what I do here,” Darius said. “I appreciate what others are going through, especially when they’re having bad days. I love encouraging people.”
Darius knows what it’s like to have bad days. For years he struggled with alcoholism and gang life. He believed he could run his life without help from anyone, but his bad choices eventually caught up with him.
“Things started to fall apart, and I felt like I was on Skid Row,” he said.
Thankfully, Darius overcame his struggles. He went on to get married, have three children, and build a life.
He got connected to The Salvation Army in 2019 when he found himself in need of work. He signed up for a program called Motivation Education & Training (MET), which helps seniors obtain work-based job training. He would spend the next three years in the program, essentially getting paid by MET to volunteer for The Salvation Army.
Last month, Darius’s participation in the MET program came to a close, but his story doesn’t end there. The Eastside Salvation Army has hired Darius full-time as its security officer.
“We got to know Darius really well these last three years, and he has a terrific work ethic and outlook,” said Captain Scott Spicer, who leads the Eastside center. “This new position is a perfect fit for both us and Darius.”
Darius’s experience at The Salvation Army has also rekindled his faith—a faith that his mother instilled in him from an early age—and it has fueled a passion for wanting to help others on the journey to a better life.
“This place is like my home away from home, like family,” Darius said. “I see my reward, and it’s from working here.”