Long serving volunteer, Audrey Schauer, receives an award at the podium.

Volunteerism benefits all

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The Salvation Army Hayward Corps recognizes long-term volunteers.

By John Kelley – 

The Salvation Army Hayward Corps recently held a volunteer appreciation luncheon, attended by Mayor Barbara Halliday and guest speaker Councilman Francisco Zermeno.

Served by 20 students of California State University, East Bay, the event recognized everyone who has helped the Army in Hayward, Calif., and gave special thanks to long-serving Audrey Schauer, Barbara Taylor and Ray Alsdorf.

“Our center is blessed with volunteers who have servants’ hearts,” said Corps Officer Lieutenant John Kelley. “They are an essential part of the services we provide to the community. They’re wonderful people, full of dedication, integrity, determination and compassion. Each time they volunteer, they demonstrate the kind of community in which they want to live. Our volunteers are truly the Army behind The Salvation Army.”

Barbara Taylor displays her volunteer award.
Barbara Taylor displays her volunteer award.

Long-term volunteer, Schauer, first started volunteering when she helped cater an annual meeting luncheon. During the years helping with the event, she learned all about the Army’s work in the community. Then in 2007, she received a red light violation ticket and did community service at The Salvation Army Hayward Corps.

“I was excited to finally be able to do something good in my life and help others,” Schauer said. “I knew God had brought me to The Salvation Army for a reason. I’d always believed, but working as a volunteer showed me how to put my faith in God. When my community service ended, I knew I couldn’t just leave and that God had a plan for me to stay.”

Taylor, who was also recognized, first came to the Army 16 years ago when a friend from church invited her to volunteer to help prepare a meal for the homeless meal program.

“I value the fellowship of all the volunteers with whom I’ve worked over the years and feel that we are family,” Taylor said. “I also enjoy meeting those we serve and have come to know them and their cares. They will have to carry me out of here because I’m not leaving.”

Decades long volunteer, Ray Alsdorf, speaks at the podium after being recognized for his service.
Decades long volunteer, Ray Alsdorf, speaks at the podium after being recognized for his service.

The last recipient to be recognized, Alsdorf, said his association with the Hayward Corps occurred early in his 37-year career with the Hayward Police Department and the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. He served on the Hayward Salvation Army Advisory Board for over 26 years, including two terms as its chairperson.

For 26 years, he helped to organize the Hayward Community Thanksgiving Dinner and in time, the annual attendance rose from 150 to almost 1,200 people.

“I treasure the friendships made and the wonderful experiences shared during my time on the board,” Alsdorf said. “I’ve witnessed the organization’s life-changing work. It knows how to meet both the physical and spiritual needs of so many. I’m proud to have served. When giving to The Salvation Army, rest assured most of your donation goes directly to those in need. They are truly the hands and feet of Jesus.”

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