VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: BARBARA ADAMS, HOWARD COUNTY
Barbara Adams, is one of 6 Barbara’s who volunteers full time at The Salvation Army’s Thrift store in Howard county. Out of all the Barbara’s at the thrift store, Adams is the only one who is the floor manager, a former registered nurse, and a former military kid who moved around much of her childhood.
“My father was a Naval Officer, so we moved a lot as a kid. I lived in Howard county for 50 years but I am not originally from here,” said Adams. Before retiring, she raised her family and worked in nursing, and as a medical proofreader for a marketing company.
Her background in the medical field comes in handy at the store, especially since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When the pandemic first hit, I knew exactly what to do to protect volunteers, staff and customers. I knew how it spread and knew what to do,” said Adams. She also used her same medical prowess with navigating different abilities and disabilities volunteers have. “I know how to take two abilities and put them together. There are people with various health conditions and I work around them, and I know how to do that. That’s how my nursing abilities come in handy.”
Whenever Adams is on the store floor, she prays for those in need. She even serves as a personal shopper for customers who suffer from dire situations.
“People come here frequently for help,” said Adams. There was a Grandmother who entered the store several years back, who was not financially prepared to raise two kids, Adams assisted with finding the family clothing, school supplies and backpacks.
She even assisted a family of immigrants, where the husband lost his job, and assisted with receiving clothing, household items, and support. “This just happens. People just show up at the back door requesting help. We also try to follow through with clients and keep in touch with them,” said Adams. “Our basic philosophy is that God didn’t send this stuff for us to look at and drown in. We are to serve as a conduit and send these items to where it is needed.”
What impacts customers and volunteers the most, is Barbara’s bottomless heart. Her desire to help people in need exceeds the treasure trove collected at the store.
“The Salvation Army does good work. If donors have the heart to help the poor, this thrift store is a good conduit.”
There is Love Beyond a Change of Clothes & There is Love Beyond Loneliness.
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