23 year old Jimmy Hughes comes to the East Stroudsburg Salvation Army by way of Toms River, NJ and is planning on attending the College For Officers Training in September 2018 with his wife Marci. His dream is to one day spread the Good Word and mission of The Salvation Army to as many people as he can.
So how did Jimmy get involved with the Salvation Army? "I wanted an IPod," he says.
"My friend invited me to the church one day. I was hesitant but he explained that if I went, I would get a ticket for a chance to win an IPod. So I went the next few Sundays too, just to get that ticket. But to my surprise, I kept going back after the IPod was raffled off," Jimmy remembers. "Before I knew it, I was there almost 7 days a week."
Fast forward 10 or so years and Jimmy is now our Ministerial Assistant, helping spread our mission to everyone in Monroe County, passionate about bringing people to the Lord.
"Relationships are important to me," Jimmy explains. "I enjoy helping others and making people feel special, like they aren't just a number. Because God made every person special and that is what I love so much about The Salvation Army. Our mission is to help everyone, every time, without forcing our religious beliefs on anyone. God doesn't discriminate and neither do we."
Jimmy's passion for people is evident with everyone he meets. Whether it is providing companionship to a client eating in our soup kitchen or a child from our youth programs seeking guidance, Jimmy has a way of making everyone feel like they are the only person in the room. One day, while in the front office, a man came in lost and depressed. He lost his wife to cancer and was feeling desperate, alone and afraid. Jimmy immediately offered the man a sympathetic ear and kind, reassuring words of comfort that instantly soothed the man's tortured soul and he left our office smiling instead of crying.
He also credits The Salvation Army for bringing Marci, his now wife, into his life. "I met Marci my very first Sunday at Houghton College. I was going to attend a "Meet the President" event but a friend convinced me to attend the on-campus Salvation army fellowship group instead. I walked into the room and it was love at first sight...for Marci," Jimmy says with a cheeky grin.
The stars aligned, Jimmy came to his senses 2 years later and began dating Marci. "It took me a while but I eventually caught on and boy am I lucky that she waited for me." A much wiser Jimmy now vows to spend the rest of his life making his wife happy while spreading the Good Word of The Salvation Army.
P.S. Jimmy did not win that IPod...but the friend that initially brought him did :-)