The Fort St. John Salvation Army is celebrating its volunteers this week, inviting supporters old and new, and young and old to enjoy an afternoon lunch as part of an appreciation day on Wednesday.
Executive Director Jared Braun says the organization's work wouldn’t be possible without its 100-plus roster of volunteers, with some having served the community for 20 years or more, who lend much needed hands to people in need in the community.
“Without them we really couldn’t do what we do,” said Braun. “There’s so much demand for the work that we do, there’s growing needs to feed people, to house people, to support our thrift store, and we have an awesome team of employees – over 50 staff that work for us, but it’s even bigger than that.”
Braun says many volunteers come not just to give back to the community but to be a part of it, with an atmosphere of family found inside its doors.
“It’s that sense of community that people really enjoy being a part of. We have such a range of volunteers; you see people here who are retired, older people like grandparents who are just looking to come together and give back to the community, and build relationships with each other,” he said, noting families with children are also there to help.
Many others also come to volunteer in order to build working skills and add to their resumes.
“There’s so many benefits to volunteering and we’re really excited to be able to facilitate that,” said Braun, noting help is always welcome — the more the merrier.
Tom Summer, Local Journalism Initiative, Alaska Highway News