Carson City Honors Volunteers

by Lt. Lisa Van Cleef – 

The Advisory Board of Carson City, Nev., chaired by Marilyn Lewis, recently hosted its First Annual Volunteer Recognition and Awards Banquet. About 30 people attended, including volunteers, potential Advisory Board members, and donors. Craig Swope of KPTL radio emceed the evening’s events.

Bob Cashell, manager of the Ormsby House, received the “Others” award for his work hosting many fund-raising events for such organizations as Friends in Service Helping, the Boys’ and Girls’ Club of Northern Nevada, and The Salvation Army. During his two-year tenure at the Ormsby House, he has also sponsored events for needy families and victims of cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. “It all started when I volunteered as a kettle bell ringer last Christmas,” said Cashell. “This is a wonderful community to be in and a wonderful community to serve.”

Reverend Ken Haskins, pastor of First Christian Church, accepted the “Sally Award,” given for service to the Army. Haskins served 13 years on the Advisory Board, lending support and much-needed input as a long-time Carson City resident. “I loved my time with The Salvation Army,” he said. “I believe in the work of the Army. They do not hesitate to meet needs of people in the name of Jesus.”

Lt. John Van Cleef, corps officer, after reading the annual financial and services report, stressed the need for the Army’s services to grow in this community. To that end, the board is raising funds for a community needs survey.

Lt. Colonel James Sullivan, Las Vegas County coordinator, gave an example how one act of love can change everything.

During the Los Angeles civil riots, there was a great deal of tension among the men living in the Army’s shelter, making the manager very nervous. To add to the tension, the shelter was overcrowded, with more than 100 men sleeping on two-inch mats on the floor. Then Jose came to the shelter and was told there was no room and there were no remaining mats. He didn’t care: he would sleep on the floor. And that’s exactly what he did, falling fast asleep.

Not long after, the other men came to the already nervous manager and demanded that Jose be asked to leave–he’d removed his shoes, and the stench was unbearable. The manager tried to wake Jose so he could shower. He didn’t budge. “Well,” thought the manager, “I’ll see if we can bring the shower to him.” Filling a bucket with warm water and lemon dish soap, the manager went to clean Jose’s feet.

Peeling back the filthy socks, the only thing that saved the manager was the occasional whiff of lemon scent. Diligently, he washed Jose’s calves and feet, until the water was dark and murky. As he finished he noticed a circle of legs surrounding him–brown legs, black legs, white legs, all circling this incredible scene. Suddenly one man offered one pair of his socks, another his mat, still another his blanket. Long forgotten were the tensions and the outside world. These men had formed an undeniable bond through one man’s act of mercy and love.

“That incredible turn-around is what The Salvation Army does through its service to others,” said Sullivan.

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