Editor’s Note: This guest post is written by one of The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte’s outstanding volunteers, who asked to remain anonymous. We hope these words are as inspirational to you as they are to us.
I am now in the fourth year of a mid-life crisis that I hope never ends. It had been brewing inside of me for a long time, but it really burst forth when my mom died back in 2013. She was the best person I ever met. Her death helped focus me on mistakes I had been making in my approach to God and the whole concept of what service to others is all about. I spent the first 50 years or so of my life talking about people that I had never spoken with and debating cures for problems based on reading a scholarly paper or two rather than actually rolling up my sleeves and trying to fix them.
My mom had always been a doer, rather than a talker; not a doer of grand things, either, but of kind things. Some of these things I didn’t even know about until she died. All of them, though, were more important than any of the arguments I had been making about the way the world should work. I am trying all the time to be more like her: doing more, debating less. Action without thought often leads to wasted effort, but thought without action leads ultimately to feelings of pointlessness and emptiness.
The Salvation Army is based on the importance of “doing.” One of my favorite quotes is from William Booth who said something like “if Moses had formed committees to study and discuss the best way to cross the Red Sea, they never would have done it.” This organization does things, both big and small, to help those who live on the margins. It is consistently rated as one of the most efficient and effective charitable organizations in the country. The work that it does with homeless children is particularly important to me. The fact that 130 or so kids live at the Center of Hope, that 30 are housed with Charlotte Family Housing, and another 30 live at Hope Haven is heart-breaking and should never be acceptable, despite whatever political, religious or philosophical leanings people may have.
I thank God every day that the Salvation Army is here to help care for those children until somebody smarter than me can figure that out. I’m thankful that The Salvation Army allows me to connect to the world in a way that matters to me through what it does.