‘National Salvation Army Week’ story series, Part II: Volunteers

May 15, 2024

National Salvation Army Week is May 13–19. To celebrate, The Salvation Army Northern Division is publishing stories about some of our most important services to illustrate how your donations and volunteer work are helping us Do the Most Good for people and families in Minnesota and North Dakota. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has joined the celebration by officially declaring this week as Salvation Army Week in Minnesota (read the proclamation).     

Volunteers are the lifeblood of The Salvation Army Northern Division. They help us serve hot meals, provide housing, comfort disaster survivors, and offer other critical services for more than 250,000 people in Minnesota and North Dakota. Every year, about 20,000 local volunteers give their time to help further our mission. 

Think about that number – 20,000. That’s enough people to fill every seat of a Minnesota Timberwolves game at Target Center. (Sign up to volunteer.)

Volunteers are the reason why The Salvation Army is one of the most efficient charities around, with around 82 cents of every dollar donated used to provide direct services for people in need. 

“The amount of money our volunteers save us in labor costs amounts to more hot meals, more shelter nights, and more critical services for more people in need,” said Sophie Crowell, Director of Volunteer Services for The Salvation Army Northern Division, noting that the estimated value of U.S. volunteers is about $32 per hour.

Volunteers also help us save something even more important than money: souls. They demonstrate the love of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, by giving of themselves without expecting anything in return.  

“We’ve found a place where we feel like we’re doing the Lord’s work,” affirmed volunteer Dale Swanson (pictured right), who helps distribute food at The Salvation Army in Brooklyn Park two days a week. “We see people here being helped both physically and spiritually.” (Watch a video about Dale and other local volunteers.)

Sandi Swor (pictured right) is another volunteer who goes above and beyond. In addition to serving hot meals three days a week at The Salvation Army in Fargo, N.D., she volunteers two additional days per week during the Christmas season, sorting donations to Red Kettles. She was named “Exemplary Volunteer of the Year” last month by The Salvation Army Northern Division. (Read about all of our 2024 Volunteers of the Year.)

“We are truly grateful for Sandi's unwavering commitment and outstanding devotion to The Salvation Army,” said Shannon Cole, Business Administrator at the Fargo Salvation Army. “Her dedication is truly admirable.”

Celebrate National Salvation Army Week by signing up to volunteer today. Businesses, churches, and other organizations are also encouraged to get involved, as we can accommodate groups of most sizes.  

“Any amount of time you can give will be a blessing to people and families in your community,” said Lt. Col. E. Randall Polsley, Commander of The Salvation Army Northern Division. “We are grateful for all of our volunteers and the selfless work they do to better the lives of others.”

Help Celebrate National Salvation Army Week by giving a donation or signing up to volunteer

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