From bell ringing, food and toy drives to helping those in emergency situations, the Salvation Army has assisted the lives of thousands. Though these acts of charity are among the most known of the Salvation Army’s work, the organization also works to create change on an individual level. It was this attention to individuals in need that helped lead Lynn Butts to change her life and the lives of others as well.
In April, Butts was released from jail after serving a six month sentence for dealing a schedule II controlled substance. The year was difficult for Butts who had also lost her residence in a fire and had subsequently struggled with homelessness (see: Pathway of Hope Leads Local Woman To Salvation).
However those six months in jail had not weakened Butts, instead, through a budding relationship with God and Salvation Army Lt. Karen Pommier, Butts emerged from jail with a resolve to change her life and live drug free.
Butts enrolled in the Salvation Army’s “Pathway of Hope,” a program focused on following steps to sufficiency that are tailored to the individual involved.
“I set goals and a date for those goals and I have been able to meet each goal on time with the help of the officers on staff,” stated Butts. ” It breaks down to where you meet with someone who is a mentor to you, you also have a ministerial part where you meet with the officers in the corps and the spiritual side is met.”
First Butts mapped out her action plan alongside Salvation Army Pathway of Hope caseworker Ken Locke. For Butts, receiving her commercial driver’s license to aid her in a job search was among her biggest dreams. A dream she accomplished through hard work and the support of workers at the Salvation Army and a partnership with Work One.
Though Butts accomplished a major goal, her pathway of hope did not end there. On Nov. 7, 2013, Butts rededicated her life to God.
“To this day I still have thoughts of why, why did I do that and I don’t know. I still don’t know how to answer that question,” stated Butts. “All I know is that God was there for me that whole time. He never left me. He put me in places that I need to be
Through the help of both Esteban and Karen Pommier, as well as Ken Locke, Butts realized a new dream as well — to help others like herself.
“I’m very grateful that he [God] had grace and mercy on me — that he allowed me another chance… I think that for anyone who is going through what I went through, I could be a service to them and help them through if they want to — if they want to have what I have. I don’t want them to be like me, I want them to have what I have, and that is Jesus.”
To become involved in the Salvation Army’s Pathway to Hope or for information on other programs and services offered, you may call 574-267-5361, visit www.sawarsaw.org or visit the office at 501 E. Arthur Street from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday through Fridays.