International Volunteer Day 2019

International Volunteer Day 2019


Every year, on 5 December, The General
of The Salvation Army has the honour of celebrating and giving thanks to our
volunteers around the world. On this International Volunteer Day
I gratefully acknowledge every one of you, our volunteers. For your service, your commitment,
your dedication in carrying out the mission
of The Salvation Army: To preach the gospel of Jesus Christ
and to meet human needs in his name without discrimination. You are a part of an international movement
where, every day, volunteers wake up ready and willing to say ‘yes’,
no matter how small or great the task. With your heart of service, you are
preparing to stare down injustice, and bring healing and hope
where it is needed most. When natural disasters strike, you are
willing to drop everything and mobilise to help. This year, the USA has seen numerous
disasters, including floods in the Midwest and Hurricane Imelda, which brought
devastation to Texas. You responded, and you did it
in so many beautiful ways. When Hurricane Dorian wreaked havoc
in The Bahamas, you were right there in the midst
of the recovery efforts – supplying water, providing meals
and vital resources. And showing the care and the compassion
that people desperately needed. As Australia has been hit by unprecedented
fires and floods this year, and continues to struggle, you have been right there giving vital
support and hope to devastated families. In the UK, there are resolute volunteers
giving up their sleep to urgently and carefully transport survivors
of modern slavery and human trafficking, getting them to safe houses and helping
them to start the healing process. Around the world, thousands of volunteers
are gearing up for Christmas. Some are gathering together food and toys
for distribution. Others are preparing food for Christmas meals;
decorating Salvation Army centres to welcome the lonely,
and collecting vital funds to help the most needy
at Christmas and beyond. Every day, in every country where
The Salvation Army is at work, volunteers are on hand to fight for the
wellbeing of the most vulnerable members in our society. You are helping transform the lives of
those who go without a home, those who struggle with addiction,
those who have fled to find safety, those in distress. Thank you for playing your part. Wherever you are serving, whether it’s
leading a youth group at your local church, or using your musical talents; on the ground where there are disasters,
in the streets meeting needs or in an office answering calls,
in a store sorting donations or collecting funds,
that are much needed, I want to say thank you. Thank you on behalf of the leadership
of The Salvation Army. Thank you on behalf of a world that,
through your sacrifice of time, talents and efforts, have made it a little better
and a little fairer. On this International Volunteer Day,
I pray that today and all days that you are blessed,
because we are blessed by you. [Subtitles by David Giles,
IHQ Communications]

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