QUINCY -- Quincy resident Donna Window says her parents helped inspire her love of volunteering.

"As soon as they retired, they started volunteering," Window said. "It's just in my blood."

She volunteers somewhere different every day -- John Wood Community College, Blessing Hospital and Lighthouse Baptist Church -- but her nearly five years of work with the Salvation Army holds a special place in her heart.

"I just think the Salvation Army is a wonderful organization, very worthwhile," she said. "The people are genuine that you meet here."

Window loves the time she spends working in the main office of the Kroc Center and at Family Services, as well as serving as treasurer of the Women's Auxiliary, and the Salvation Army appreciates her efforts so much that she was named the 2018 Volunteer of the Year.

Volunteer coordinator Jeremy Koren said, "She serves in whatever capacity is needed with no hesitation."

Window was surprised with the award at Volunteer Recognition Event Spectacular on Thursday night at the Kroc, as part of National Volunteer Week.

"We can't do half of what we do without all our volunteers at the Salvation Army. We call them the army behind the Army," Koren said.

Last year, more than 5,200 volunteers provided more than 18,500 hours of volunteer service with the Salvation Army in Adams, Brown and Pike counties in Illinois and Lewis, Marion, Monroe, Ralls and Shelby counties in Missouri.

"Whether you rang bells or volunteered at Christmas, helped with youth programs, our family store, the bread line, served on a disaster or a committee, your contribution made a difference in our community, so thank you," Koren said.

He recognized volunteers and partner agencies spotlighted each day this week -- reception desk volunteer Pauline Featherston, Hannibal Advisory Council secretary Linda Cook, Kristie Perkins, who volunteers "anywhere she can" and the Quincy Fire Department, represented by Assistant Chief James Pioch.

Volunteers work in every department of the Salvation Army -- and often in more than one role.

Margaret Sharrow, who has worked 14 years with the Salvation Army's bread line and helped in other ways including bell ringing, enjoys helping others. "I'm just so happy doing that," she said.

For Window, volunteering is a way of giving back to the community, and she offered advice to others thinking about giving their time.

"Try it," she said. "You will like it."

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