Northern Division: Serving every county in Minnesota and North Dakota
Volunteer mops floor

Nat’l Volunteer Week: Heroes behind scenes

Added on Tuesday, April 25, 2017

National Volunteer Week is April 23-29. To celebrate our own volunteers, The Salvation Army Northern Division is publishing a special story every weekday of the event. Each story highlights a critical Salvation Army service or fundraising effort made possible by our thousands of dedicated volunteers in Minnesota and North Dakota.  

Hundreds of Salvation Army volunteers across Minnesota and North Dakota perform helpful tasks not often seen by others. They clean, do office work, sort donations made to Salvation Army Stores, and a host of other behind-the-scenes activities.

These volunteers are unsung heroes. By performing menial-but-necessary tasks, they allow The Salvation Army to spend less on labor, and more on helping people in need.

Woman sorts donationsSheila German (pictured) is one such volunteer. She has been volunteering at the Salvation Army Store in Grand Rapids, Minn., for two decades. Three days a week, she comes in for five hours to sort donations of shoes, jewelry, and winter wear.

“There are a lot of things to do – there’s no end,” German said with a smile.

The Salvation Army sells the items German sorts, then uses the proceeds provide important services for local families in need.

“Sheila is just the biggest help,” said store manager Patti Surface. “I can count on her to do absolutely anything.”

Comcast employees paint a Salvation Army operation centerLarge groups of volunteers often take on behind-the-scenes projects as well. Since the early 2000s, employees of Comcast (pictured) have devoted one day a year to beautifying Salvation Army locations across the Twin Cities. Last year, for example, 75 volunteers from Comcast spent a Saturday at the W. 7th Salvation Army in St. Paul, where they repaired and painted a fence, shampooed carpeting, and deep-cleaned the gymnasium and storage areas (read story).

You, too, can be an unsung hero by volunteering at your local Salvation Army Store (view locations) or operation center in the Twin Cities, Greater Minnesota or North Dakota (find opportunities).


Thank you, Salvation Army behind-the-scenes volunteers. This short video is for you:

Other Nat’l Volunteer Week Stories