“Wherever there is a need in Great Falls, Montana…..you’ll find The Salvation Army.” is the motto of the Great Falls Salvation Army organization.
This organization helps our students and community in a variety of ways: assisting in times of disaster, providing tools for addiction, and helping to overcome poverty by providing “programs that serve the body, mind, and soul” such as shelter and seasonal assistance and meals for those in need, and engaging our youth through sports.
As a unit of Salvation Army, The Salvation Army’s Women’s Auxiliary provides an invaluable service to Great Falls Public Schools and area youth.
But this committed organization could not offer this kind of support without the volunteerism of some very dedicated retired GFPS teachers.
Patty Meyer, a 39 year veteran GFPS teacher (retired 11 years) states, “Our main activities involve fund raising. We are always proud to say that 100% of the money raised through our activities stays right here in Great Falls.
If you have had a child involved in the activities that are provided through the Salvation Army Youth activities, you know what I mean when I say that families benefit from the many programs offered through the Salvation Army. We also contribute to the Family Services Division of the Salvation Army. When they needed a new refrigerator so that they could keep fresh foods on hand for distribution, the SAWA provided the necessary funds.
When the Family Services needed some money to help in the purchase of cribs for families moving into new housing, we were there to help. We help with clothing distribution and food distribution when help is needed.”
“There basically isn’t anything that we won’t do, if asked. Money is not the only thing that we donate. Each year the ladies volunteer hundreds of hours to the many projects of the Salvation Army.“
Debby Kelly, another 39 year (retired) veteran teacher, likes the fact that “Most of the money the Auxiliary earns goes to The Salvation Army children’s programs such as an after school/daycare program, a summer program, sports programs, Christmas toy give-away, plus a coat, boots, shoes, and socks give-away.
When asked why they volunteer, Debby expresses, “Volunteering is so important to so many, many organizations. Our nation relies on volunteers in many different forms. I think it’s very important to give some of my time and effort to a good cause.”
“Also, I chose the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary since their work is mostly local and child-centered. And the people I work with are so kind and fun. It is a good social outlet for me and my husband, who often helps, as well.
Another retired GFPS teacher Shary Fiske agrees as she enjoys “the friendship of all the ladies” and believes they make a difference “in the youth of our community”.
As a former teachers in the Great Falls Public Schools, these ladies realize the need and benefit of working together and volunteering for an organization that gives so much to our children and community. By their acts of kindness and gifts of time, these ladies will truly and always exemplify the act of advocating for our youth. They are always looking for additional volunteers to support these wonderful acts of service.