Virginia Beck, left, and Amber Sumner spend time together volunteering for the Salvation Army.

Williamsport, Pa. — Virginia Beck of Muncy and Amber Sumner of Liberty usually meet once a week in Pennsdale, where they volunteer at the Salvation Army store. The mother-daughter duo has been volunteering together for at least a decade, they said.

On Wednesday, they enjoyed their time together at a luncheon instead, hosted by the Salvation Army at Farrington Place in Williamsport. While the meal and recognition of their volunteer services was lovely, the two say the volunteer work is rewarding.

The organization is able to serve the greater community with help from its "army" of volunteers, according to Major Sheryl Hershey, Corps officer and pastor. Volunteers help in the food pantry and Red Shield Community Garden. They help by filling back-to-school backpacks and satisfying "Angel Tree" wishes at Christmas. 


Hundreds of volunteers help the Salvation Army achieve its mission.

Volunteers ring the familiar bells over the holidays (this past year bringing in a total of $96,673.35 during their famous Red Kettle campaign), decorate trees for the Festival of Trees (bringing in almost $16,000), and they help at Salvation Army stores like the one in Pennsdale where Beck and Sumner work.

"I like having something I can do with my mom," said Sumner. "And it's a great way to give back."

"We shop and we work!" Beck added. And on Wednesday, they lunched.

During the program, officers recognized and awarded outstanding volunteers who are crucial to the organization.  Commissioner Scott Metzger delivered remarks.

Garden volunteers take home new award

A new awards category was unveiled this year to recognize the work of dedicated volunteers in the Red Shield Community Garden. Master Gardener Sid Furst of Williamsport was the first to take home the honors.

Furst has been instrumental in growing both the garden's footprint and volume of produce that helps feed those in need in the community, according to Major Hershey. He has helped to bring new concepts to the garden including a new Sanctuary Park, a "pocket park" along Park Avenue where community residents can sit and enjoy birds, butterflies, and Pennsylvania native plants. 


Recipient of the newest volunteer recognition award for Red Shield Community Garden volunteers, Sid Furst (far right) insisted other garden volunteers in attendance join him in a photo. Garden volunteers from left to right are Amanda Smith, Janelle Renzo, Winston Lee, Bea Brown, and Furst.

Related reading: Red Shield Community Garden hopes to double the harvest to meet community need

Award winners

Outstanding Volunteers

  • Shawn Webb
  • Josie Miller
  • Elaine Confer

Timothy Heffler Memorial Awards

  • Curt Fink
  • Rose Confer

Red Shield Community Garden Award (first time this award has been presented)

  • Sid Furst

Community Partner Awards

  • PPL
  • North-Penn Liberty High School Key Club
  • The Young Industries
  • Webb Weekly
Salvation Army luncheon4_2023

The Pendel Brass Ensemble

Outstanding Red Kettle Partners (Christmas 2022)

  • JSSB
  • Mid-State Beverage

Outstanding Counter Kettle Partner (Christmas 2022)

  • Dollar General Corporation

Festival of Trees – 25-Year Planning Committee Members (1998-2022)

  • Alan and Deanna Miller
  • Pat Mraz
  • Michael T. Roan

Festival of Trees – Best of the Festival and People’s Choice Awards (Christmas 2022)

  • Wolf Run Veterinary Clinic

Volunteers were treated to a hot lunch at Farrington Place.

Service Club Bell-Ringer Awards (Christmas 2022)

  • Ivy Lodge No. 106
  • South Williamsport Lions Club

Angel Tree Awards (Christmas 2022)

  • Walmart of Montoursville
  • Toys for Tots

Long-Service Recognition – Williamsport Corps Advisory Board Members

  • Russell C. Reitz (28 years)
  • Charles D. Springman (20 years)

New Women’s Auxiliary Members Installed

  • Barbara Miller
  • Beverly Paulhamus
  • Kathy Webb
Salvation Army 5_2023

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