For 127 Years, Volunteers of America has Served America’s Most Vulnerable
(Dallas, TX) March 8, 2023—On March 8, 1896, when social reformers Ballington and Maud Booth founded Volunteers of America (VOA), it was for the same mission that the organization maintains today—to serve the country’s most marginalized populations. Now, 127 years later, the organization celebrates its annual Founders Day on March 8, a time to reflect on the pioneering service provided over the years while also spotlighting the important work being done today to address our nation’s most pressing social needs.
“When the organization sees an area where assistance is needed, it mobilizes, which has led to it becoming one of the largest charities in the us,” said Angela King, VOA Texas President and CEO. “This has led to VOA becoming one of the largest charities in the U.S.”When the organization sees an area where assistance is needed, it mobilizes.”
Locally, VOA Texas strengthens communities through an array of services including: veterans services, substance abuse treatment and prevention, affordable housing, community re-entry, employment training and disabilities services.
VOA’s founders first moved from the U.K. to New York in the 1890s to assume command of the Salvation Army in America. Ballington Booth was the son of General William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army. The Booths eventually left and formed VOA. In the early 1900s, VOA ran an employment bureau, co-operative stores and medical dispensaries. It distributed food and clothes and taught women’s sewing classes. During the Depression, the organization mobilized to provide employment, run soup kitchens and feed the millions who were homeless and hungry.
Today, VOA is one of the nation’s largest providers of affordable housing, with more than 500 properties that provide homes to approximately 25,000 residents. The organization buys, renovates, builds and develops housing for the country’s homeless and most at-risk populations including veterans, seniors, people with disabilities and families.
Over the past century, the organization has become one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive human services organizations, touching the lives of more than 1.5 million people a year in communities across the U.S. It now operates 30 affiliates in 46 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Most recently, VOA has launched programs to help those with moral injury. Moral injury is when someone feels they have violated their conscience or moral compass when they take part in, witness or fail to prevent an act that disobeys their own moral values or personal principles.
About Volunteers of America Texas
Volunteers of America is one of the nation’s largest, established comprehensive human services organizations with 16,000 mission-driven professionals, dedicated to helping those in need rebuild their lives and reach their full potential. Founded in 1896, the faith-based nonprofit has programs in 46 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, serving more than 1.5 million people a year.
At VOA Texas, we provide services to those who need it most in our community. With more than 350 professional staff we serve more than 11,000 people annually. Our work touches the mind, body, heart – and ultimately the spirit – of those we serve, integrating our deep compassion with highly effective programs and services. To learn more about our work, visit www.voatx.org.
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