Following Her Passions: Kathy’s Volunteer Story

DSC_1447Kathy Rhodes first read about The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program in 2014 and decided to volunteer. It was a simple decision that has made a lasting impact on her life the last two years.

“I thought the idea of ministering to so many families was wonderful because it had such a widespread impact. But once I got involved with the Women’s Auxiliary and The Salvation Army, it made more sense than any religious organization I had ever been with,” Kathy shared.

“The fact that as lay-citizens we can reach out, offer a meal and a warm, safe place to sleep and also offer Jesus, it just makes such good sense. I have really been impassioned with it.”

After volunteering that first day at the Angel Tree distribution center, Kathy was invited to a Women’s Auxiliary meeting by a member, Sharon. There, Kathy learned more about this organization she had heard about through the years and decided to join.

“I believe that ever since I was a child I’ve looked for ways to minister to others. Throughout the years I’ve gotten involved with various organizations but not to the degree I have here. I’m fortunate to be in a place in my career where I can devote more time to others.”

Kathy is devoting that time to the best of her ability. As the newly appointed president of The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Women’s Auxiliary, she’s using her lifelong passion to inspire others to work alongside her for our community.

“I really didn’t know the scope of the everyday services. There’s just so much to learn. That’s why in the Women’s Auxiliary I’m trying to urge every member to try everything out until each finds their niche.”

Kathy has found her niche in the social service programs – ministering directly to people in the community who are hurting the most.

“I haven’t worked in the pantry very much but I’ve been terribly moved by the people. These people are not lazy. These are people who work, or want to work, but through illness or family circumstances, they find themselves needing help. And for any of us, this could happen.”

Even though Kathy didn’t know anyone in the Women’s Auxiliary, it thankfully didn’t stop her from coming to that first meeting and getting involved.

“When I started I didn’t know anyone. I couldn’t even remember Sharon’s name. But as you get involved, the more names you’ll learn and the more people you’ll get to know.”

If you’d like to get involved as a volunteer with The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Women’s Auxiliary, contact Major Charlotte Gargis at charlotte.gargis@uss.salvationarmy.org or 405-246-1113.

Laughing, Kathy added that you don’t have to worry about knowing anyone’s name because at the meetings, “Everyone wears a nametag!”