Salvation Army Rings In The Holiday One Kettle At A Time
By Marie Sardalla-Davis
“From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.” ~ Arthur Ashe
Your life feels crammed to the rafters. Yet something seems missing…Let’s do a self-assessment.
When that alarm pierces through your cushy snooze every morning, do you:
a) groan and turn over;
b) tear around the house in panic mode; or
c) rely on your sense of purpose to get you out of bed?
Did you answer either “a” or “b,” but want it to be “c” at least some of the time?
In the pursuit of optimal health and happiness, we can sometimes overlook a proven source of well-being: giving back.
“Numerous studies have shown that people who do volunteer work for two or more hours per week have lower rates of depression and heart disease, live happier more fulfilled lives, have greater self-esteem and greater function ability, especially for older adults.” ~Donna Cardillo, RN, MA*
Fact: People need to be needed.
Fact: There are so many people in need. Putting these two together is the mission of nonprofit organizations like the Modesto Citadel Salvation Army.
Longtime volunteer Twyla Anderson remembers being invited to a Women’s Auxiliary member recruitment luncheon. “I left that meeting not realizing that my life would be gifted with lifelong friendships with this lovely group of ladies. I felt a growing sense of excitement, knowing that I had found a way to help those most in need right here in my own community. That was 11 years ago.”
In the ensuing years, Anderson joined other volunteers and staff at the Salvation Army to provide infants, children and adults with food, social services, clothing, shelter and other assistance. Their efforts are only possible because of the generosity of the community.
Every year for the past 19 years, the Modesto Citadel Salvation Army has ushered in the Bell-Ringing season with a Kettle Kick-Off on the Thursday before Thanksgiving. The buffet lunch attracts more than a thousand local business and community leaders. Teams of fundraisers compete to collect the most donations in their Red Kettle during a seven-minute sprint from table to table. Last year’s Kettle Kick-off raised $192,487. This year’s goal is $200,000.
“It’s exhilarating to be in a room with everyone wanting to give to the same cause,” said longtime volunteer and last year’s top kettle filler, Kenni Friedman. “The Salvation Army has one of the lowest overhead costs, which means the money I raise goes directly toward services.”
Apart from being part of the mad dash for cash, Friedman helped plan this year’s Kettle Kick-off as one of three organizing “Christmas Angels.” She has received the “Others Award” in recognition of her many years of service through the Salvation Army.
Volunteers like Friedman and Anderson know from experience the rich returns possible from do-gooding.
“Our community has many exceptional nonprofits, which offer a myriad of useful services. Any of these agencies would appreciate a call from a potential volunteer,” Anderson said. “And, if one has a desire to spend time and resources on a cause that allows the sharing of heartfelt love and faith, call the Salvation Army and offer your services. You will be blessed!”
To volunteer with the Salvation Army Modesto, contact Business Coordinator Brian Aird at (209) 522-3209.