Volunteers honored at Salvation Army luncheon

For more than 20 years Ida Como has done what is needed to assist with the mission of The Salvation Army.

“I’ve rung bells, helped fix up bags (of groceries), whatever I was available to do,” Como, who started the Women’s Ministry at The Salvation Army, said.

When asked why, she answered quickly and with a smile.

“God is good,” she said.

Attendees of the Salvation Army Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon move through the buffet line. Mary Meaux/The News

Attendees of the Salvation Army Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon move through the buffet line.
Mary Meaux/The News

Como was one of a group of people honored during The Salvation Army Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon Tuesday at the United Methodist Temple.

Longtime bell ringer volunteer Tom Dunlop looks forward to the Red Kettle Season where he sits in front of Bruce’s Market Basket for a full eight-hour day.

“I love it. I’ve been doing it for quite a few years and meet so many nice people,” Dunlop said. “It’s great to know I’m doing something for someone else.”

Dunlop, 89, pointed to his handicap chair saying he sits in the chair while ringing the bell because he can’t stand.

“We have wonderful officers and I enjoy working with them to achieve what we need to do to serve the people of the community.”

Table decorations at the Salvation Army Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon show “Need Knows No Season.”

Table decorations at the Salvation Army Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon show “Need Knows No Season.”

Faye Stuart, who has been part of The Salvation Army since 1959, was also recognized for her dedication.

“I guess I’m called to do it,” Stuart said when asked why she volunteers her time. “When I first started at the church I was lost and looking for something meaningful. They put me to work and the work has meaning in my life.”

Texas Gas Service earned the “Doing the Most Good” Volunteer of the Year Award.

The Salvation Army Maj. Nancy Fuller explained that every year they pick an individual or a group who goes above and beyond for the top honor.

“I can make a phone call and before you know it they’ve sent three or four guys out to help,” Fuller said. “They’ve helped barbecue chicken and fry fish for fundraisers and put together our playground equipment thinking the playground would only take a few days.”

Arthur Thomas, TGS area manager, said the award means a lot to them.

“We try to get out into the community and let them know there’s more to us than gas,” Thomas said. “This is a great opportunity to give back to the community.”

In addition to cooking and putting together the playground equipment, TGS also helped bag and distribute Christmas toys for children.

Maj. Nancy Fuller with The Salvation Army closed the event by reading a passage from the Gospel of Matthew — “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink … “truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of my brothers you did for me.”

Bell ringer and individuals who received awards include: Sertoma Club, Motiva, Founder’s Lion’s Club, Texas Gas Service, Nederland/Port Neches Optimist Club, American Real Estate, Port Arthur Rotary Club, Delta Sigma Sorority, The Salvation Army Women’s Ministry, Tom Dunlop, Don Richard and Patricia Gray.

Angel Tree awardees include: Valero, Motiva, Groves Public Library, Total Refinery, Sam Houston Elementary School, Neches Federal Credit Union, Founder’s Lions Club, Chick-fil-a, JC Penney, Mid Jefferson Hospital, regional Professional Building.

The Salvation Army is an international movement, an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Services in Mid and South Jefferson County include utility assistance, rental assistance, food pantry, clothing assistance, referral services, holiday food, Christmas toy program, summer fan program, computer classes, prescriptions, transportation, community care services and youth services

E-mail: mary.meaux@panews.com

Twitter: MaryMeauxPANews


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