For the past 20+ years, Laura Finkle (known affectionately as Miss Laura) has been volunteering her time with children here at the Salvation Army in East Stroudsburg, PA.
"My parents were hardworking and found the time to help others whenever they could," explains Laura. "My own Girl Scout leader also taught me about volunteering and personal sacrifice. I see this as a way to pay it forward."
In her tenure serving the children in our community, Laura has served as Young Persons Sergeant Major (YPSM), Vacation Bible School instructor, Sunday School teacher and is currently one of our Sun Beams Leader and wants to be involved in the lives of children, believing that showing kindness and leading by example will make a difference, either now or down the road.
"Laura doesn't have to do this," says Jayne Marquet, Youth Ministries Director. "Her own kids are not even directly involved in the programs she leads. Although," Jayne says with a wink, "she brings her grandkids to church every Sunday".
"Most of my volunteering is connected to The Salvation Army, it's congregation and the children it reaches out to," says Laura. "I think it's important to find a cause you believe in and work to share that passion with others so that they can find a purpose as well."
In addition to volunteering with our youth programs, Laura is a faithful Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) volunteer, often being called upon at all hours of the day or night, to serve our first responders a cup of hot coffee as they serve the public.
"Laura loves what she does," says David Morton, EDS Coordinator. " She enjoys being out there to support our community. I can always count on her."
"My wife and I really appreciate the love and respect Laura has for children," says Major Gilbert Parkhurst, Commanding Officer. "She builds them up, encourages them and finds a way to get them involved. She treats every child like they are important."
"I have been blessed by God and so many others I've met over the years," Laura says with a smile. "It has been my time to give back to the community."
Amen Miss Laura.