Administrator rallies troops for Salvation Army

Award recognizes leadership

Nov. 29, 2011

The positive energy Joy Alexander took from winning a statewide volunteer award will carry her through a busy season with The Salvation Army, coordinating an estimated 4,000 volunteers before the holidays.

That and the thought of a January cruise.

"When it gets really crazy, I'll just say, 'Hey, it won't be long before I'll be on that cruise ship,'" teased Alexander, The Salvation Army's volunteer administrator for Wisconsin and upper Michigan.

Most days, her passion carries her through, which is part of the reason her peers with Wisconsin Volunteer Coordinators Association honored her earlier this year with an award for outstanding volunteer leadership, management and recruiting.

In her job as volunteer administrator, Alexander oversees and trains volunteer managers throughout her region. In Milwaukee County, she also coordinates volunteers for special events, such as the Toys for Tots Toy Shop, which uses an estimated 1,600 volunteers to get gifts to needy families.

That's on top of Coats for Kids, the Prison Toy Project, the Angel Giving Tree program - and don't forget the Christmas Day Family Feast, which serves more than 8,000.

"The Christmas Family Feast alone takes more than 1,000 volunteers," said Alexander, 60, of Wauwatosa.

With almost everybody but the bell ringers under her supervision, Alexander said the holidays are always an exhausting but exhilarating time - and an extension of the life of service she discovered when she was 18.

"I volunteered for Special Olympics," Alexander said. "I was an official hugger - what an awesome thing."

Years later, as a stay-at-home mom, Alexander sought out volunteer opportunities she could share with her daughters.

Now, she said, "giving back is their way of life."

And, for as long as she can keep up the pace, Alexander said will do the same.

"I will volunteer as long as there's a breath left in me to do it, because volunteering enriches your life so much and it enriches the organizations and communities you help," Alexander said.

To recommend a person be featured in Someone You Should Know, send an e-mail to or call (262) 446-6643.


NAME: Joy Alexander

AGE: 60

NOTED FOR: volunteer administrator, The Salvation Army


PEARLS OF WISDOM: "Volunteering enriches your life so much and it enriches the organizations and communities you help."


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