My Volunteer Experience in the Salvation Army

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The Salvation Army has a mission which is “​ an international movement, it is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination”. They have been pursuing their mission since 1865. The salvation has many locations but the one I currently volunteer at is the one in the South End located at 1500 washington St. The Salvation Army started because William Booth One exchange the concept of traditional Church. He rather walk the streets and preach the gospel to the people in person while they were currently in the situations. When others didn’t agree with what he was doing he decided to resign from teaching the gospel at the church. However continued to preach the gospel on the street. The Salvation Army ​got their name because Booth read a printer’s proof of the 1878 “Christian Mission” annual report, he noticed the statement ‘The Christian Mission is a volunteer army.’ Crossing out the words ‘volunteer army,’ he penned in ‘Salvation Army.’ Which was mentioned on the website The Salvation Army USA.

From those words came the basis of the foundation deed of The Salvation Army. From that point onward, converts became soldiers of Christ and were known then, as now, as Salvationists. The main founders were william booth who ​began The Salvation Army in 1865 as a means to help the suffering souls throughout London who were not willing to attend – or even welcomed into – a traditional church. Catherine Booth who was known as the “Army Mother.” In her world, women had few rights,no place in the professional sphere, and a minimal presence in church leadership. Yet in her marriage to William Booth, she became an evangelist, preacher, theologian, and ​co-founder of The Salvation Army. which was mentioned on the website The Salvation Army USA.

The salvation Army concept is dedicated to doing the most good. They serve in 130 countries around the globe, assist approximately 25 million americans annually, meet human need without discrimination and have over 1.5 million members consisting of officers, soldiers, and adherents. The salvation army helps with all kinds of things for example the cure of hunger, overcoming poverty, helping disaster survivors, proving shelter, assisting the unemployed, stopping domestic abuse, fighting human trafficking, serving the lgbtq community, teachings kids and meeting the greatest needs by sharing God’s love. Which is also mentioned on the website The Salvation Army USA.

The agency I worked with works with many types of populations but mainly worked with food, housing, kids and homeless people. It was very diverse and many types of races and ethnicity. It ranged from white, black, Hispanic and etc. There are about 15 paid employees and the volunteers annual changes because there’s a lot of events volunteers sign up for. For example Christmas, Thanksgiving and the summertime all the programs sponsored by BYF , PIC etc are all considered volunteer staff. Which does not include the volunteers that volunteer with me. With that being said the amount of clients typically ranges around five hundred or more throughout the year.

While I volunteered I was asked to do a couple of things I interacted with the kids and helped them with homework, I did arts and crafts and helped serve them food. I played games with them, sat a front desk, answered phone calls and assisted with the childrens check ins and dismissals. I interacted with the homeless people looking for jobs and food. As well as helped with the donating process when different toys and gifts were getting dropped off. I didn’t really have any negative to say about volunteering there besides I noticed at a certain time certain opportunities and programs ended.

For example while I was sitting at the front desk I had homeless people come in and drop off paperwork so they can apply for a job. The job description was ringing bells now I always seen people ringing bells at stop and shop or the train station and I knew it was through the Salvation Army. However I didn’t know they got paid to do that. Some of these people walked from where they were currently at or took the bus. At a certain time is cut off so they have from 9-2:30 to bring back their application. However some of the people coming didn’t know. Not only did they not make it but they have to come back and return tomorrow, because nobody told them when the cut off time was. Other than that everything else was positive.

Often times during the holidays we tend to only think about ourselves or our family. While sitting at the front desk a lot of people gave donations to kids, homeless people and to just people in general and that really stood out to me. The holidays can be a tough time for some people because they don’t have anybody and to know there are people in the world that actually care struck me. The second thing that I really liked was there was a sign-up sheet at the front desk. While parents picked their kids up in the after-school program they could sign other children up to get gifts. Considering they children in the after-school program on the list was automatically put on. They still could help other kids in need besides after school kids struck out to me as well. Another thing I noticed was most after-school programs only serve snacks to children while they’re there. The Salvation Army serves dinner as well so parents don’t have to worry about feeding the kids afterwards. Another thing that stood out that I slightly mentioned was giving the homeless people jobs and opportunities. Besides the cutoff time I enjoyed watching them help get jobs as well.

Volunteering at this site made me want to volunteer even more. To see how you can work at a place for a short amount of time but do so much stood out. On the first day volunteering there while I was at the front desk I had to sign in all the children when they came in from school. The children was giving me their name and I was checking it on the list. There are a couple of things that clicked to me automatically they came up to me and asked what my name was? How old was I? How long will I be there? Etc. Of course there were a couple quiet ones but I got to know them as well.

While I was sitting at the desk a couple of the kids asked for help with their homework. I was wondered why would they ask me considering they asked their group leaders everyday to help them. However I didn’t pay it any mind while I was helping kids with their homework one kid name Heaven sat next to me and asked for help. While I was helping her I noticed she couldn’t stay still but I was used to kids moving around a lot. While I was working with her I noticed she needed extra help. I had to repeat a couple of the same things to her three times but when she got the answers correct she was so happy. Her just smiling and hugging me lit up my mood. Working with her made me realize even more how much I want to be a social worker.

I really love working with kids but that’s just reminded me how much I loved working with kids. Which is why I consider it one of my strengths. Every and anybody just can’t work with kids. There’s some kids in the world that are actually damaged and lack love that they don’t receive from their parents. Volunteering just reassured me that I want to countie making children happy. In class we talked about having patience with your clients, motivating them and having them do things on their own. While I was working with Heaven I noticed I used some of those skills. I kept motivating her, kept helping her by asking her questions that she could answer. Which helped her to answer the questions on her own.

However volunteering also made me notice one of my weaknesses. That I never really noticed before, I am too nice. I noticed I was saying yes a lot and in the Human Services class It was mentioned that sometimes it is okay to say no. I noticed that is something that I struggle and need to work on. Volunteering made me realize a lot. For one I want to keep volunteering because I like being able to offer services without being paid for it. As well as being notified and appreciated for the help I give. I also want to continue to volunteer because not only am I helping one type of population I am helping many population as well.

Last but not least to have staff members tell you to come back or to have children ask you when is the next time you’re going to stop by shows how much you are appreciated. As well as how much of a difference you can make without you knowing. This agency was wonderful and I would refer many people to Volunteer here. You get the chance to work in multiple fields, meet new people and have fun doing it. I believe the mission that the Salvation Army follows stands on everything that is mentioned.


  1. History of the Salvation Army. (n.d.). Retrieved December 12, 2018, from https://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/history-of-the-salvation-army/

Cite this paper

My Volunteer Experience in the Salvation Army. (2021, Sep 20). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/my-volunteer-experience-in-the-salvation-army/

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