National Salvation Army Week is once again upon us, and it is a time when we reflect on all the organization has accomplished, and how much is left to do. Tens of thousands of people depend on the work of The Salvation Army’s programs every month, but the success of the programs would not be possible without the many volunteers that dedicate their time and expertise to serve others.
Volunteer opportunities are plentiful at The Salvation Army – for both individuals and corporations looking to get involved and positively impacting the communities around them. One example is the food-packing event that global consulting firm Protiviti was a part of.
Executives and employees, led by Executive Vice President Jim Pajakowski, a Community Advisory Board Member and long-time supporter in the William Booth Society, packed meals for central India’s hungry through a massive volunteer event. More than 250 volunteers from Protiviti participated in the event, called “iCare.”
The” iCare” event took place during Protiviti’s Global Leadership Conference in Chicago as part of the firm’s commemoration of its 10th anniversary. Volunteers expected to pack around 75,000 meals. In a remarkable demonstration of teamwork and dedication, iCare volunteers packed more than 100,000 meals. The event was coordinated jointly between The Salvation Army and Numana, a partner with the Army in global hunger relief efforts.
“This was an outstanding event in so many ways,” said Pajakowski. “It was a great team-building event. We were able to help those in need and to partner with two great organizations in The Salvation Army and Numana.”
Volunteers worked all afternoon to pack life-sustaining, non-perishable meals consisting of rice, soy protein, freeze-dried beans, and 21 vitamins and minerals. The meals are specifically designed to improve the immune system of malnourished people. The Salvation Army Central India Territory, headquartered in Chenai, India, distributed the meals through schools and other educational centers.
“This event was truly a great example of how a group of people can come together, and in relatively a short period of time, do something that has a huge impact on those in need,” said Sharon Linstrom, Managing Director at Protiviti, who volunteered during the event. “The Salvation Army and Numana did a wonderful job organizing the event, giving us the tools and support we needed to exceed Protiviti’s goal. I would highly recommend this kind of event to other companies.”
India’s failed food policies have become the subject of intense debate worldwide after years of corruption and waste. India grows and stores more grain than any other country, except for China, yet more than one-fifth of its people are malnourished. According to a recent World Bank study, just 41.4 percent of grain from federal warehouses reaches Indian homes. A new food security law has recently been proposed in India that will allow the poor to buy more rice and wheat at lower prices and double the number of people who receive food from the government, but until then, events like iCare are crucial to helping to ensure that no one in India goes hungry.