A Return on Investment

May 14, 2019 | by Salvation Army OC

A Return on Investment 

“Is there an investment out there with tremendous returns, every time, all the time?” As a financial advisor and lay ordained minister, John was busy. But 17 years ago, during a time of reflection, he asked himself what Jesus really meant in the book of Matthew when He said “I was hungry... I was thirsty... I was a stranger” (Matthew 25:35-40). That spoke to John’s core. “I knew I needed to do more. It wasn’t about money, it’s about giving of your time and serving others.”

John called several groups to volunteer his services, just to help clean, set up, anything. Nearly all of them said, “just send us a check.” He had already done that. Then John called The Salvation Army Hospitality House in Santa Ana (emergency homeless shelter for men) and received a different response, “Can you come on Thursdays and run the front desk?” 

John’s initial response was,” What’s a front desk? And how soon?” They told him not to worry, that they would train him, and he could start as soon as he was ready. “They did just that,” noted John.  “They welcomed me, trained me, and not long after I was at the front desk on Thursdays, assisting guests as they checked into the shelter.” 2 years later, his son Jonathan took a shift on Wednesdays. 

“John is great, helping each of our guests to feel welcome, loved and valued as they transition into our programs from difficult and harsh situations,” shares Shelter Manager Benjamin Anozie. “And not only our guests. He is a source of support and encouragement to our staff as well.”

John has volunteered with us for just over 16 years! Today, both John and his son serve at our homeless shelters and are incredible examples of the thousands of volunteers we have helping us advance our mission of transforming lives here in Orange County. Whether it’s assisting our shelter guests, visiting the elderly, helping children with their homework, stocking our food pantries, working with those impacted by disaster or providing support to victims of human trafficking, our volunteers give abundantly of themselves to meet the needs of others. 

“We cannot encourage you enough to volunteer, to see lives changed, where those without anything are given a bed, food, clothing, HOPE and a path forward. The Salvation Army is a professional and devoted group who we have grown to respect and have become friends to me, my son and our family. From a financial-spiritual perspective, it is an investment of time, with eternal rewards. It is a joy to serve with The Salvation Army.” - John

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