Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Celebrates National Volunteer Week with The Salvation Army

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois has supported The Salvation Army for many years in many different ways. We always look forward to welcoming them to our facilities to help with projects and visit with our clients. Our guest blog is from Shelley Long, Community Affairs Representative at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois.

For more than 80 years, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois employees have volunteered in support of community health initiatives and partnered with nonprofit organizations across the state. Just last year, our employees spent about 50,000 hours volunteering, including with The Salvation Army.

Every month we send a team of volunteers to The Salvation Army Harbor Light Center. Our employees prepare homeless outreach meals, serve hot meals onsite, create fleece blankets and so much more. The volunteers love the interaction with both staff and clients, and it’s especially meaningful that many of the staff are former clients. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois volunteers have warmly embraced these projects and have asked for more service opportunities with The Salvation Army. We encourage anyone looking for new ways to give back to their community to reach out to The Harbor Light Center, or any other Salvation Army location, to find out how to help – you never know what you’ll get back by giving back.

Shelley Long
Community Affairs Representative, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois


The Salvation Army salutes its thousands of volunteers who serve their neighbors in need

Our guest blogger, Linda Reiter has served as the volunteer resource manager for three years. She is a certified volunteer administrator, and has managed volunteer programs for more than 15 years. She is passionate about engaging volunteers in meaningful ways and energized by volunteers who bring hope, kindness and compassion to those in need.

National Volunteer Week is April 23-29. And while The Salvation Army acknowledges and thanks our volunteers all year long, it is especially important to remind them how valuable they are, and how their support makes a difference in all that we do.

The Salvation Army is the largest social service organization in the world, providing shelter, food, disaster relief, child care, spiritual support and more. But it is our volunteers who help make the most of our services. They bring love, compassion and hope to millions of people every year, and help us Do the Most Good in the communities we serve.

The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division has more than 8,000 active volunteers, and we extend our most sincere thanks to each of you. You inspire us every day.

Salvation Army volunteers are passionate about making our world a better place, and we’ve seen amazing things happen at Salvation Army locations throughout the Chicago area. They help at food pantries, playing bingo with seniors, make blankets for the homeless, assist as a member of our emergency disaster services team, teach classes and help young people develop into empowered adults.

Our volunteers energize us and help us see that there is so much for which to be thankful. Our lives and the lives of all those you have helped have been forever changed because of the time you have spent volunteering and the changes you have helped enable. We can never fully express our gratitude to you, but please know from the bottom of our hearts how much each of you are appreciated and respected.

To all of our volunteers, thank you for your kindness, your compassion, and your dedication to The Salvation Army’s mission.

Visit our volunteer webpage if you would like to volunteer with The Salvation Army.

To receive mobile alerts of upcoming volunteer opportunities text Volunteer to 51555.


Volunteer during the 15th annual Comcast Cares Day with The Salvation Army in Elgin

Comcast Cares Day began in 2001 with 6,100 volunteers helping to improve about 100 community sites. Last year, a record-breaking 100,000-plus volunteers – including employees, along with their families and friends and our nonprofit partners – turned out to beautify neighborhoods, spruce up schools, plant trees, stock food banks, and much more, throughout 39 states and the District of Columbia, and in 21 other countries. Comcast Cares Day, which is the nation’s largest single-day corporate volunteer event, is one of our proudest company traditions.

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Pathway of Hope

Terence Simms is The Salvation Army’s Pathway of Hope Regional Coordinator. He has more than two decades of experience in social science, public policy and political science. His work has concentrated on areas of race, poverty and social policy.

Hope. Hope is a desire beyond a great wish. It is a feeling of trust. Hope is not wishing for something to happen. It isn’t an emotion. Hope is faith. Hope is grounded in the word of God.

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Shield of Hope – Chicago’s First Rapid-Response Homeless Assessment and Response Center

The Salvation Army has partnered with the City of Chicago to create the area’s first rapid-response emergency homeless assessment and response center to provide families facing homelessness personalized service and support. The new facility – The Shield of Hope – is an integral part of Mayor Emanuel’s “Plan 2.0: A Home for Everyone,” which is a broad-ranging plan to end homelessness in Chicago. Continue reading “Shield of Hope – Chicago’s First Rapid-Response Homeless Assessment and Response Center”