WACO, Texas — This week is recognized nationally as Salvation Army Week. The organization has been in Waco for nearly 130 years. During that time they've expanded, moved to several different locations, and helped countless people all across the city.
"What we do is 365 days a year," Major James Taylor said. "The men's shelter is never closed; the community kitchen is opened every day of the week. Our Sally's House Program [is] opened every day of the year."
A lot of how the organization gives back to the community is done by volunteers.
Major James Taylor started as a volunteer in the 1980s. He and his wife loved the work so much that they became officers after just a few years.
"We went to the training college in Atlanta," he said. "We graduated and were ordained as ministers for the Salvation Army and now we're in Waco, Texas. What a great place to land."
Volunteers told 25 News they enjoy their work with the Salvation Army, whether they've been involved for four decades like Major Taylor or just a few weeks like new volunteer Katherine Reyes.
"I've always loved helping," Reyes said. "When I was growing up in my community in church, I would always help out as well. So having a refresher of where I came from is pretty nice."
Reyes said her family would often donate to the organization's thrift store when she was younger, now she gets to see firsthand the impact those donations have.
"I never knew the process behind that, so now being able to see that, it's like 'oh so this is where my clothes are going to,'" she said. "I never knew the effect my clothes could have on someone else."
As part of National Salvation Army Week, their thrift store is hosting an up to 75-percent off sale through Friday.
"It's a great time to shop at the Salvation Army," Major Taylor said. "You get a good bargain, it helps us with moving inventory, and most importantly, the dollars that come in go back out to help the people in need."
They are also hosting their 'Stamp Out Hunger' food drive on Saturday.
People are encouraged to leave non-perishable food donations by their mailboxes on Saturday if they live in McLennan County
Mail carriers will collect it during their routes and then that food will then go to Caritas, the Salvation Army, and Shepherd's Heart. The organizations said they've seen an increase for the need of their services due to inflation and item shortages.