Faces of the Army: Rayann Dukes

Apr 15, 2024

Rayann Dukes is a worker bee, and truth be told, she likes that role just fine. As a devoted volunteer in The Salvation Army's Jackson Corps, she works tirelessly behind the scenes. Whether organizing the food pantry, registering children for Angel Tree, or supporting the ministry, this retired law firm administrator is always ready to help. Though the families she assists may not meet her in person, her selfless heart is apparent with every bag of groceries she prepares or Christmas box she packs.

"I love helping other people, just giving them a hand up when they need it," She stated.

Rayann's love for the work of The Salvation Army stretches back many years. "Even as a child, my family gave to The Salvation Army. When I grew up, I continued that tradition with my kids. I have always given to The Salvation Army, and for the past few years, I even helped during registration now and then."

Since her retirement last year, Rayann has increased her participation from a frequent donor to a full-fledged volunteer. Today, she serves wherever needed 2 – 3 days a week, often helping prepare between 150-200 bags of groceries weekly. "We check every expiration date. We never give out expired food, even when someone donates it to us."

Rayann enjoys her work, but one particular time of year energizes her. "I love working with the Angel Tree; that's really my first love." She smiled. "This past year, we helped over 350 senior adults and over 1400 angels (kids) to get things they needed and wanted."

As you might imagine, the logistics behind these programs, like the food pantry or Angel Tree, are massive. "One of the things I love is working with so many different people in The Salvation Army. Everyone is great to work with, and the officers are willing to get in there and work alongside us. Sometimes it's tiring work, but it's worth the effort because the people are just so appreciative for the help they receive."

Rayann is quick to point out that there is always a need for more servants willing to donate their time and energy. "The Salvation Army does so much for the local community. Our Corps serves six counties around Jackson, so there is a lot of need. We could always use volunteers, and I've found it easy to volunteer."

Rayann is a member of a tiny church near where she lives, and her local congregation often supports her efforts. "Almost every week, this little church brings me things for the food pantry. I tell folks that our church might be small in number, but it's got the biggest heart anywhere."

After meeting Rayann Dukes, we might understand why that is the case.  

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