It is commonly stated that when you hit bottom, the only way to go is up.
Such is the case of Jonathan Campbell, who appeared at the Salvation Army of Shawnee on July 16, 2016.
From a photo taken 30 months ago while he was incarcerated in the Pottawatomie County jail, he was showing the mental and physical effects of his lifestyle.
It started innocently enough with a little alcohol at social events, though he began drinking at age 16.
Jon said he should have known about alcohol abuse because he describes his dad as a “functional alcoholic.”
He is a certified paralegal in Oklahoma, a position that required him to socialize.
Alcohol use at social events turned to marijuana, which turned to meth then heroin.
It was a low point in his life when he lost employment as a result of his substance abuse.
At the time of the start of his upward climb, he was addicted to meth and had been downward spiraling for five years.
His introduction to the Salvation Army of Shawnee probably saved his life. They fed him and clothed him while giving him a warm place to sleep and much needed spiritual guidance.
He recognized just how far out of normal his life had become.
He decided to ask for drug and life counseling help, which is a main function of the Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army provides spiritual direction to help people get back in a personal relationship with God.
They offer education in dealing with addiction through the 12-step process.
Jon said he was he was led through the process by a long time Salvation Army volunteer named Tony Valentine.
Jon now helps teach the 12-step process as a coordinator.
Giving his life to God, he said, has helped him focus on avoiding drugs, which is a 24-hour a day effort.
He says Christians are, by edict from God, helpers of others while directing others to God.
The Salvation Army educates in many different skills such as how to manage a budget, as well as counsel in life skills in many areas like in grooming, dressing, personalities and attitudes.
The Salvation Army also helps job prospects by teaching what to do during a job interview and also work with local employers that will give jobs to those with a criminal or addiction past.
That second chance at finding meaningful employment really boosts their self esteem.
The end result of all this education is designed to prepare the individual to re enter the work place and become a self-supporting member of society.
They are given access to $25 a week apartments to encourage living by themselves and to allow them to save up to live in their own unsubsidized apartment.
Jon went through all this remedial activity and found a position as the smiling face that greets folks coming to the Salvation Army.
He has worked faithfully there for 10 months.
He is now applying to be a Salvation Army Corps officer so he can return the favor to the group that helped him so much during his life crisis. He will start the required training in 2020.
He uses his guitar and songs to share his testimony and story with those coming to the Salvation Army.
Donations of time or money to the Salvation Army is good for all of society and can help people get back in a productive life.
Jon said he thinks the best volunteers often are those who have had life setbacks and recovered through a walk with God.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar spent is used to carry out those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org) For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.