WINCHESTER — For nearly 50 years, city resident Carolyn Griffin has served as a volunteer with the local Salvation Army. When asked why she has stayed involved with the nonprofit organization for five decades she said, “If I sit down, I’ll never get back up.”
An international Christian charity, the Salvation Army’s local headquarters is the Center of Hope Shelter, at 300 Fort Collier Road, which provides food and shelter to individuals and families in need.
Griffin, 77, was presented a Certificate of Life Membership award Friday afternoon at the local shelter during a luncheon for Salvation Army Advisory Board members.
“Just to know, there are only a handful of people that ever get this,” said Salvation Army Captain Kelly Durant as he handed Griffin the award. He said it was “phenomenal” that she has stuck with the organization for so long.
“This is truly an honor,” Griffin said.
Griffin joined the Salvation Army in 1969, after being recruited by one of the organization’s Advisory Board members. At that time, she said there were few charitable organizations in Winchester.
For the past 20 years, she said she has helped organize the Army’s annual food drive. Last year, the Army collected 2,243 pounds of food, she said.
“Hunger never takes a vacation,” Griffin said. “These kids that receive free and reduced lunch [at school], vacation comes and what happens? There are no meals. And they go hungry.”
This year’s Food Drive will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. May 25 at the Walmart on Northwestern Pike (U.S. 50).
Griffin said she is not someone who “hops from board to board” and that she likes to stick with organizations for a long time.
In addition to serving the Salvation Army for so long, Griffin has also volunteered with the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival for 50 years and previously served as its president. She was also on Winchester City Council for 22 years, before leaving in 2008. She also volunteers for the Winchester Medical Center Auxiliary-sponsored Animal Assisted Therapy Program.
“I keep busy,” she said.
Also on Friday, the Salvation Army awarded the Rev. Dan Garrett a Certificate of an Honorary Member award.
Garrett, 77, is the vice president of the Salvation Army’s Advisory Board. He has volunteered with the Army for 16 years.
Garrett is a retired United Methodist Church minister. He served as pastor of Duncan Memorial United Methodist in Berryville from 1982 to 1996.
Every Thursday, he works in the Salvation Army kitchen to provide meals to people in need.
“It’s more fun serving as a volunteer in the kitchen than board meetings,” Garrett said. “I love being in the kitchen and interacting with the people that come there.” Durant praised Garrett as someone who is “an example of humility.”
Garrett and his wife, Susan, plan to leave their Berryville home by early September to move to southern California to be closer to family.
“That’s just sad news for everybody,” Durant said of Garrett’s departure. “We wish him the very best. You are an amazing reverend.”