By Brandon Martin
Those that volunteer and donate to the Salvation Army don’t do it for the praise, but that didn’t stop Lts. Bradly and Ashley Mumford from organizing a special luncheon to thank the local philanthropists for their efforts throughout the year.
The theme for the event was summed up in one word: Others.
“Why do you do what you do,” Bradly Mumford said. “I’m convinced that for the donor, as well as the volunteers that have all gathered under one umbrella, it’s because of others. People are willing to put others before themselves. There is clear evidence across the room that we are gathered here because we were willing to put someone or something ahead of ourselves.”
Awards were presented to five volunteers/contributors who went above and beyond is service to the organization.
Elsie Maynard: “All for One, One for All”
“We met the lieutenant when he came to do the Angel Tree this past Christmas,” Maynard said. “Since then, I’ve been cooking almost every week.”
Maynard said she also helped with organizing the Angel Tree program while working at Wal-Mart.
“I just wanted to give back,” she said. “Sometimes we take things for granted and it makes you realize how fortunate we are.”
In addition to satisfaction from her service, Maynard said she gets to share her love of cooking as well.
“It was totally awesome to be recognized,” she said. “It was a complete surprise, but as great as that was, I’m just thankful that I’m able to give back and be of service to the community.”
Guy Norton: “Making a Difference”
Norton said he has volunteered for the Salvation Army for approximately three years.
At mealtime, Norton said he helps maintain order by directing foot traffic to ensure that the line keeps moving.
“Since COVID, I started delivering meals,” he said. “The most that I’ve ever been given in one day to deliver is 65. Normally when I leave here, I have about 20 meals.”
When there are excess meals for the day, Norton said he distributes them to the elderly and others who can’t stand long enough to cook.
Norton said he has been a lifelong volunteer for other organizations, dating back to 1973.
“As I got to the point of retirement, my roles in those organizations started to diminish somewhat,” he said. “Then I began looking for something else to do and I was encouraged to check out the Salvation Army. Sure enough, when I came over, they were glad to have me. You almost never have enough volunteers.”
For those selfless enough to answer the call, Norton said an unexpected reward is around the corner.
“Giving is the greatest thing that you could do for yourself,” he said. “As Christians, we are commanded to give. We are supposed to love others like God loves us. When you get the opportunity to give to someone in a way where they can’t give it back, it’s something special.”
Sandra Moore: “Positive Participator”
Moore has volunteered at the Salvation Army for about a year.
“I help cook on Wednesdays and Fridays plus getting the plates ready to get them out to the people,” Moore said. “I’ve always wanted to volunteer but I always had to work and stuff like that.”
Upon retirement in December 2020, Moore said she began taking shifts at the Salvation Army.
“I feel fortunate enough that I’m able to give back to some of the people that can’t help themselves,” she said. “They need help, they are hungry and I’m so grateful that we can feed them. I get the greatest satisfaction in knowing that God put me on this earth to help people and it’s what I love doing.”
As a self-proclaimed “shy-type,” Moore said she was shocked to receive her award.
“Usually, I’m the one in the background so being recognized in this way was both shocking and touching at the same time,” she said.
Garnett Hudson: “Getting Busy With It”
“I’ve been volunteering ever since they started putting out the kettles,” Hudson said. “I was inspired by my wife, Carolyn. She originally got involved and asked if I would help.”
With the assistance of his wife, Hudson said he gained more than just a new hobby.
“I really felt like I was making a difference,” he said. “We were raising money to help a lot of people and I have helped at meals where we helped feed sometimes around 200 people. I could see that we were doing a lot of good.”
Hudson said his award was “totally out of the blue,” adding that “it was an honor to be recognized.”
Barry Nelson, owner of Autos By Nelson, which was the event sponsor, was also recognized for his continuous donations to the Salvation Army.