Northern Division: Serving every county in Minnesota and North Dakota
Wren Brandonburg works at a computer

Woman fights for good behind the scenes

Added on Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Wren Brandonburg helps The Salvation Army fight for good.

Wren has been volunteering for The Salvation Army for six years. Although she enjoys participating in activities that put her face-to-face with the people she is helping, sometimes she prefers to volunteer behind the scenes – such as data entry and answering phones at our Christmas call center (pictured above).

Toy Shop distributionThis holiday season, Wren has spent several days a week in our call center registering families for Salvation Army Christmas assistance programs such as Toy Shop (pictured right). Toy Shops are held in mid-December at seven Salvation Army locations in the Twin Cities, where volunteers escort parents through aisles of donated toys and help them “shop” for presents. Last year’s Toy Shops provided toys for nearly 16,000 kids in the Twin Cities. (Register to become a call center volunteer.)

“Helping other people is really fun,” said Wren, a retired nurse. “I miss my patients; I miss interacting with people and helping them. Volunteering with the Salvation Army fills that niche.”

After the Christmas season is over, Wren will almost certainly be involved in other volunteer activities. She peruses new volunteer activities every month.

“I look on the Salvation Army website and choose the (activities) that fit into my schedule,” she said.

A child puts on a hatOver the years, Wren has helped The Salvation Army in all kinds of ways, including handing out groceries at our food shelves, and distributing coats, backpacks and Christmas presents to children. Sometimes her husband tags along “when the heavy lifting is needed,” she said with a smile.

Wren especially loves helping kids.

“It’s their faces,” she said. “When they try on a new coat or walk away with a new toy, those big smiles are what compel me to continue to volunteer year after year.”

Poverty is an everyday battle that families don’t always win. Thankfully, there is an army of loving people like you who fight on their behalf. Your generosity puts food on their table, presents under their tree, and joy in their hearts. Join the fight for good by donating online or at a red kettle, becoming a volunteer bell ringer, or recruiting your own army of fundraisers at Learn more about how The Salvation Army fights poverty in your community.