By: Bethany Williams, Midland Division
After struggling with several addictions, Phil turned to The Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center to turn his life around. Harbor Light gave Phil a place to stay and encouragement to start a clean life. After successfully completing the 12-step drug prevention program, Phil has maintained a clean lifestyle for several years. Soon after his transformation, Phil started volunteering at The Salvation Army in Alton, Illinois.
“I wanted to give back to the place that has given me so much,” remarked Phil. “The Salvation Army has motivated me to become a better person. I love being able to help other people.”
Over the past four years, Phil has become the head volunteer at the Alton Salvation Army’s food pantry. Every Monday, Tuesday and Friday, Phil packs brown bags with food orders for families that have goods to prepare adequate meals. In the two and a half hours he works, approximately 20 to 30 families visit the shelter to receive food assistance. Phil also conducts food deliveries and ensures the pantry is clean and organized.
“Sometimes Phil is the only volunteer we have. He always is reliable and does a great job.” Amanda Kalall, staff member at the Alton Salvation Army. Amanda and others that interact with Phil can tell that he puts his heart into working at the pantry. “We would not operate nearly as smoothly without him,” admitted Amanda.
“Volunteering keeps me busy and out of trouble,” said Phil. “Because I suffer from bipolar disorder, I used to be angry, but now I am more friendly and dependable.”
For the past three years, Phil has attained a stable place to live instead of bouncing around. Even though he is primarily a volunteer, Phil does receive a food order when needed. Phil recognizes that he would not have proper nutrition without the food he receives from the pantry in Alton.
Through his work with The Salvation Army, Phil has rekindled his relationship with God. He has started going to church to thank God for turning his life around. Phil is grateful for the positive people at The Salvation Army that have supported him along his journey becoming a positive person.
Phil’s future plans include maintaining the clean lifestyle he has today and going back to school.
Join The Salvation Army's "Turn Up The Heat On Hunger" campaign and fight to#ENDHUNGER in St. Louis.
Stop by participating Walmart locations and make a food donation July 13, 14 and 15. Food bins will be available at each entrance or make a donation online.