Volunteer of the Week: Sandra Marietta
What do you do for the Niles Salvation Army?
I help to deliver backpacks for the Feeding His Sheep program on Thursday morning to Ottawa, Moccasin and Buchanan Middle School. It is a great program. The food goes into the schools and the teachers let us know if they are needed.
The kids take them home and bring them back to be filled, so they have food for the weekend. It is food that they can eat without having to use the microwave or stove. There are vegetables, fruit, a protein and sometimes juices.
On Friday mornings, I help to fix the lunch up [for the Lunch Bunch]. They are a nice place to volunteer, they really are.
How did you get involved with the Niles Salvation Army?
We had a volunteer center in Berrien County years ago. I used to work there. [Part of my job] was sending people to the Niles Salvation Army. I knew that they needed help. I even went to church there for a while. It is a nice place. I liked that it was a Christian community.
They have new lieutenants and they are really trying hard to get involved in the community. I like what they are doing. There are a variety of people that come to lunch on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and they are really great with them. If they cannot help them, they look to someone who might be able to help.
What is your favorite thing about working there?
Oh, the people. I enjoy working with the clients that come in. They smile and it makes me feel good. They come in and give us a hug. The ages vary from early 20s to 70s.
Why would you encourage other people to volunteer at the Niles Salvation Army?
I would encourage others, because it is a feel-good situation. Some visit for food, some visit for camaraderie. There are various reasons that they come. It is a welcoming place. People are welcome to come at any time. It is like an open community. They can come for coffee or to get warm.
Sandra Marietta has volunteered with the Niles Salvation Army for the past two years.
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