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  • Eva Hernandez

Salvation Army Volunteerism (and a Workout!)

At Oddacious Solutions, we want to be more than just another workplace; we are a service organization seeking to promote individuals and communities’ flourishing.

As a new company, we didn’t waste any time finding opportunities to serve our community while remaining safe during these Covid-19 times. Our first volunteer outing as a team was with the Salvation Army on December 9, 2020. Our task: pack boxes with food to be given to families in need for the Holidays.

Sounds easy enough, right? Well, let me tell you, it was a lot more complicated and demanding than it initially seemed.

When we arrived, we received a quick rundown on filling the boxes and how many of each food item to include. We all eagerly formed a line to begin packing the boxes and quickly realized the difficulty of keeping track of what to put in the box. The room filled with frequent questions like “Salina, how many of the tomatoes again?” or “Did they say one can of tuna or two?” Eventually, we all figured out what the correct amounts were, and it appeared to be smooth-sailing from there. Well…

The boxes wouldn’t close! We all struggled with the boxes, frantically trying to reorganize what was already in the box to make the last of the items fit. An experienced employee saw us struggling and very graciously showed us his method for packing boxes. The room filled with expressions of admiration. And, after some practice, we, more or less, managed to close the boxes we made. (In hindsight, we probably should have started by asking how to pack the boxes most efficiently. Chalk this lesson up to “celebrating errors as paths to improvement.” We’ll be ready next time!)

Did I mention that these boxes were heavy?! I realized that it wouldn't hurt to lift some ten-pound dumbbells every once in a while.

At the end of our time there, we were told we had packed more boxes than the usual--196 boxes, to be exact! This meant more boxes for families in need! Additionally, we helped clean up the trash and break down the empty cardboard boxes so the regular staff could go home earlier than usual. And let me tell you that it was a fantastic feeling to know we helped not only families in need but also the Salvation Army staff.

Knowing that what we were doing was helping others made every struggle we encountered enjoyable. It was an amazing experience filled with laughter. According to Sarah, “It’s great to bond with your team through serving in your community. It was a very wholesome experience and the Salvation Army does some amazing work.” And the team shares that sentiment; John spoke for us all when he said, "It was a great and humbling experience, and I can't wait to do this again.”

Thank you, Modesto Salvation Army, for allowing us to serve! We hope our service made your day and workplace a little more joyful.


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