Friendships Formed Through Service

elfPersons from Alex Brown Realty have come for the past five years to set the warehouse at the beginning of November. One of the women who has come regularly also came the very first year we had Elf Night. During that period of time, she met different people and from that experience they became friends. She and her best friend still come to Elf Nights and also come every year to help during the distribution dates at the warehouse.

Three Decades of Feeding the Hungry

This article from the Carroll County Times was written more than a decade ago, and the Russells are still going strong!

By Jaime Bloss, Times Staff Writer | Posted Sep 21, 2003

Between them, Frank and Betty Russell have more than 20 years of volunteer experience working with the homeless.

As they do nearly every Tuesday night, the Eldersburg couple drove to Baltimore Sept. 9 to volunteer on Feedmore, the Salvation Army’s mobile feeding unit.

Read more…Dedicated to feeding the hungry – Carroll County Times



Not all long-time volunteers are . . . human?

By Priscilla Loebenberg Times Staff Writer | Posted: Sunday, December 22, 2013 12:15 am

The Salvation Army’s popular bell ringer, Snickers the miniature horse, completed his third and final day collecting for the nonprofit Saturday in front of Safeway. Shoppers at the Eldersburg store did double-takes as they drove through the parking lot and pulled out phones to take photos of the little horse calmly munching hay out of a bag labeled “Santa” underneath the iconic red bucket.

Read more…Miniature horse draws donors to The Salvation Army – Carroll County Times: Local


Catching the Volunteer Spirit

Larry Pope called the Howard County Service Center office in November to see if there were any volunteer opportunities. He is a retired government worker and found that he had free time on his hands. Pope was directed to come in and talk with Windy Chavis, the center director.

Chavis went over the list of volunteer opportunities available during the holiday season, which included bell-ringing, staffing the Angel Tree at the mall, helping to set up the warehouse and sort toys, or even “adopting” a child for Christmas. Pope wanted to do everything!

He began by ringing the bell two or three times a week, and was out almost every day by the end of the season. He helped to set up other volunteers at their kettle locations. Pope adopted a family for Christmas and helped when he could in the warehouse. He even got his gym to collect toys for the Angel Tree program.

Once the season was over, Pope was so encouraged by the work The Salvation Army does, that he decided to become a weekly volunteer. He donated items to our Family Pasta event in April and volunteered all day.  Each week, he comes in ready to do basic housekeeping and help in the office. Pope has even decided to help sponsor a child for camp with the hope that he can do more.

“Many times Mr. Larry just looks around to see what is needed and goes out and purchases the items without being asked. We have been blessed to have Mr. Larry join our team of active volunteers. He brings lots of energy and he even likes to bring us cupcakes from his favorite little bakery,” said Chavis.

First-timers become regulars

volunteers holding gifts at warehouseMost people’s introduction to volunteering with The Salvation Army of Central Maryland is through helping at the warehouse during the Christmas season. Truly, an army of volunteers is needed to turn around the thousands of Angel Tree gifts that come in from corporations, civic groups, individuals, and mall/store donation points.

About five years ago, a couple of young adults, “K” and her fiancé, volunteered for the first time. As they came in their second and third years, they realized there always seemed to be a shortage of coats for the Angel Tree recipients, so “K” rallied the troops at her place of employment one Thursday, and by Monday, we had several dozen coats.

Now married and with a growing family, the young couple began bringing their children to family days at the warehouse and continues to provide coats each year. This past year, the children were old enough to help pack boxes to ensure other area children could have gifts to enjoy the holidays!