Man celebrates 15 years volunteering for the Salvation Army

TOPEKA (KSNT) — With Christmas days away it’s important to remember that the holidays are about giving than receiving.

The Salvation Army has provided for many in the Topeka area. Jim Helton has been a volunteer for the Salvation Army for 15-years.

“I am a great dish washer. I cook, clean and set up and do dishes,” Jim Helton, volunteer.

Jim says he considers the staff and the volunteers at the Salvation Army like family. Since they have been there for him through the most difficult time of his life.

“I walk with a cane an old man’s can, but webbles wobble sometimes I fall down but at least I kept both legs. Thank god, I guess he wasn’t done with me, he wanted me to do something,” said Helton.

And that he did… It was then when Captain Dustin, and the staff at the Salvation Army took Jim and in his words “made him feel accepted”.

“He kept inviting me to church, in fact I sit in the same place every Sunday. When he did the sermon, Oh my god I thought he was preaching right to me. I asked to join because it makes me feel at home,” said Helton.

With Christmas days away and winter right around the corner Jim says he doesn’t think people realize how much donating coats to the salvation army and putting money in the red kettle bells really helps people who are in need. — These charitable donations have even helped him at times.

“Christmas is not about receiving it is about giving and even if you receive you can turn around and give again,” Maj. Lee Ann Burkett, Topeka Salvation Army.

As far as Jim’s role in the kitchen, he says he will always volunteer to cook as long as there are mouths to feed.

“I do a pretty good sloppy joe or a beef stew,” said Helton.

A couple a weeks ago Jim along with the help of other Salvation Army volunteers were able to provide a home cooked thanksgiving meal for 190 people. He says what he is most thankful for this holiday season…is the gift of life.

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