As we make our way through National Volunteer Week, The Salvation Army wanted to spotlight various individuals and groups who give of themselves selflessly to the cause. During this week, we are featuring a volunteer daily, sharing on how they serve and why. In the past, we have paid homage to our amazing angels via our Sally Star initiative, honoring several volunteers like Eloise Ferguson, EJ Boyson and Liz Turner as well as remembering faithful volunteers, promoted to glory such as Tim Bell and Patrick Milkintas.
It’s vital throughout the year to recognize those who could give of their time anywhere else but choose to donate it to us. We can do that with banquets, cards, billboards and newsletters but most importantly with a face to face thank you, hand shake or hug that tells them they are appreciated and that they are truly a blessing in the life of someone else. Let them know, they are the difference!
Volunteers like Ray Hayles who for a couple of years now has been a vital part of our Tuesday morning Breakfast Brigade. This is an outreach we provide every week on Main Street in Nashville. A freshly prepared breakfast consisting of potatoes, eggs and fruit are served with juices, water and coffee. Ray is the prayer leader each Tuesday, so prior to breakfast being served, each man and woman will bow their heads while standing in a single file line for their morning meal, and Ray will lead them in prayer. Ray is quick to bless each one of them in the name of Jesus, ask for protection over each person and that they all come to know Jesus in a personal way.
Ray also serves as our #1 egg cracker, carefully breaking each individual egg (22.5 dozen in all) for the scrambled eggs we serve. Ray is quick with a smile, is humble and kindhearted and whatever happens to be the task at hand, he is quick to do it.
When asked why he volunteers, his reply is simply, “just so I can help in a very small way.” To our volunteers, they may feel it’s small as it may only encompass an hour or two, maybe a day, but for the person they are helping by feeding, clothing, providing resources and praying with, they are contributing something that will a last a lifetime in their hearts and souls.
Ray, for each and every prayer you’ve spoken over the crowds on Tuesday mornings, we see your light as you speak about the Son and his desire for our lives! You are indeed a Sally Star!