Volunteer spotlight: John Myrick and Richard Carter

Apr 8, 2024

The Salvation Army Northern Division is celebrating our volunteers throughout April. Check our Facebook page and news feed regularly this month to read stories about the incredible people who donate their time to help The Salvation Army in Minnesota and North Dakota. Find volunteer opportunities near you. 

This week we are shining the spotlight on John Myrick and Richard Carter – two outstanding volunteers who have given hundreds of hours of their time at the Eastside Salvation Army in St. Paul.

Volunteers like John and Richard help make the Eastside Salvation Army a place of hope, service and refuge for people and families struggling to get by in one of St. Paul’s most challenged neighborhoods.  

Richard Carter

Richard Carter is the epitome of grace under pressure. As the welcoming face of the Eastside Salvation Army, he greets everyone with a warm smile and directs them to the services they need, such as our food pantry and hot meal programs. 

Yet Richard's talents extend far beyond mere hospitality. He's a master at de-escalating tense situations. One day, when a man experiencing homelessness started a campfire near our building, Richard calmly approached him and asked him to move on. Soon after, the man returned and proceeded to light another campfire. Richard didn't hesitate to spring into action, extinguishing the flames and assisting with the cleanup.  

Later, the man returned in need of assistance. Richard confronted him with tact, love and empathy. Richard’s ability to communicate effectively diffused the situation, leading to a sincere apology and resolution. 

“It's moments like these that showcase Richard's invaluable contributions to our team and his unwavering commitment to everyone's safety,” said Major Lisa Spicer, Eastside Salvation Army administrator.

Beyond his crisis management skills, Richard generously volunteers his time to monitor the door during programs that take place Thursday evenings. His dedication and exceptional communication skills make him an invaluable asset to The Salvation Army and the Eastside neighborhood. 

“We are grateful for Richard's service and proud to have him on our team,” Spicer said.

John Myrick 

John Myrick used to be known by his first name. Now everybody addresses him by his last name, Myrick, because he has been transformed into a new person through his faith journey. 

Myrick embodies the transformative power of faith and redemption. Three years ago, he found his way into a church service at the Eastside Salvation Army. He was fresh off completing an addiction treatment program and moving into an apartment near our building. At the church service, Myrick encountered Jesus Christ, who breathed new life into his soul.

From that moment on, Myrick became a vibrant part of The Salvation Army, eager to give back and serve. 

“When we launched a new recycling program recently, Myrick stepped up to educate others about separating food waste from paper waste in our lunchroom,” Spicer said. “His willingness to serve and his radiant testimony of God's grace make him a beacon of hope to all who cross his path.”

During Easter 2023, Myrick officially became a member of The Salvation Army church, solidifying his commitment to his newfound faith. 

“Every morning, he brightens our day with a hug and the simple affirmation, ‘Still Blessed,’” Spicer added.

In addition to his service and devotion, Myrick shares his musical talents by playing the conga drums in the church’s band. Outside of church, he finds joy in riding his electric bicycle, embracing the freedom and vitality that comes with his transformed life.

Myrick's journey from John to "Myrick" is a powerful reminder of the transformative power of love and faith. 

“His story inspires us to believe in second chances and the limitless possibilities of God's grace,” Spicer said.

Please join The Salvation Army's mission of serving others by giving a donation or signing up to volunteer

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