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Finding purpose through community service at The Salvation Army’s Home League

The Salvation Army’s Home League is not a place where women sit around “yicky yacking,” it is so much more than that. From fundraisers to toy drives to making blankets for those in need, the ladies of the Home League in Auburn are ready to serve. It has given many of them a newfound purpose and sisterhood, as they serve others while building community with each other at the place they call their home away from home.

Below is a transcript of the video, edited for readability.

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Barbara Koski: Auburn’s a small town. I don’t know what else to do on a Tuesday. I became a member of the Home League ladies in 2008 when my friend, she kept hounding me to come to this ladies group in Auburn. And I thought, I don’t want to sit around with just ladies yicky, yacking. “No, no. We do all kinds of stuff. You’re going to love it.” And I walked in the door and I’ll be darned if it didn’t feel good. And I just kept coming.

Lt. Aline Posner: Home League is basically a women’s group. They are like sisters in Christ who don’t live with each other but do life with each other at the same time.

Barbara Koski: We have lunches, potlucks, we do quilts and this and that and all of this. It’s a bunch of ladies having a good time.

Priscilla Monesanto: We are making valentine’s for the veterans.

Lt. Aline Posner: I think a lot of people have this idea that Home League is just ladies that come together and do crafts and fellowship and then call it a day. But really, here in Auburn, they don’t just do that.

Ellen Laseter: We’re mostly, in Auburn, a service group.

Lt. Aline Posner: They help us sort toys for Christmas time, they’ve sent flowers out to people in the community that have lost loved ones, hygiene kits for disasters and for the battered women shelter as well. They also support a home through the child sponsorship program.

Priscilla Monesanto: I feel very privileged to serve others, and especially at my age, I’m 82 now.

Nancy Dailey: Sometimes you feel like you’re old, nobody needs you, and so it has given me a purpose and a delight.

Lt. Aline Posner: If somebody is sick, they will bring over a meal or flour, or we will mail a prayer card to them and have everybody sign it. Some of the ladies have even moved away and they still keep in contact with them through calling or even send letters. Some of them don’t have a cell phone and they just have a home phone, and that’s how they connect with each other.

Barbara Koski: Oh, maybe I should call Barbara Stents and talk to her for a little bit. She can only talk a little bit, but that’s okay. It just keeps us in connection with other people. They know someone else cares.

Ellen Laseter: Any particular needs that the ladies need to share with us, we’re open for that. Even if it’s just a hug. I think it’s a very encouraging and uplifting thing to know that people are praying for them. It gives them strength and encouragement.

Barbara Koski: Each of us have been through a lot. We had a fire that came through Auburn and took out 64 homes. Well, we were one. It happened on a Sunday. I’m sorry, it happened on a Sunday. And we went back up to go through our ashes because that’s what we needed as a family and coming back, I said, I want to go to the Salvation Army because the ladies were meeting.

And Ellen came out. She said, hugs, hugs, hugs, and what can we do? What do you need? And I said, I need here. I need you guys. And I think that’s when I really knew that they cared. God led me here prior to that. Gee, did he know what he was doing? Yeah. I knew I could call any of those ladies and they would care.

Most of the ladies are single, they live alone. Some of them live in the senior housing. And so coming together to fellowship, to share with each other, it’s rehabilitating.

Priscilla Monesanto: I love coming here. I love being with the ladies. It’s like a little family.

Lt. Aline Posner: Not only do they know that if they ever have a need, we’re here to support them, but they’re just very selfless and they are just very generous. They really just like serving and giving back to the community.

Barbara Koski: When I go home, I’m tired, I did something for other people today and I think that’s important.

Ellen Laseter: Tuesday has been Home League always, and I feel that this is what the Lord wants me to do.

Barbara Koski: I just love it here. I do. I need the Home League. I need these ladies. I see myself coming here till I can’t, even with a walker or whatever. This is where I belong.

Ellen Laseter: For as many years as the Lord wants me to serve, I’ll be here.


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