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Inspirational Quote

A person who has a cat by the tail knows a whole lot more about cats than someone who has just read about them.
Mark Twain

Maud and Ballington Booth

“Our work is not all bread and shelter. The underprivileged, the weak and the unfortunate need more. They need sympathy, the warmth of fellowship, and the instilling of courage.” — Ballington Booth

Maud and Ballington Booth were British newlyweds when Ballington’s father, William Booth, a general in the Salvation Army, assigned them to the organization’s New York office in 1888. Although the Booths traveled second class on their cross-Atlantic voyage, the first class passengers were fascinated by their enthusiasm. This opened the door to wealthy New Yorkers who helped the Booths pull the struggling New York Salvation Army out of debt.

General Booth was impressed as he visited American Salvation Army posts several years later. But conflict arose over the money collected in America. General Booth wanted to make use of the funds outside the United States; Ballington explained that this would violate promises made to the donors. In a final disagreement the General ordered his son and daughter-in-law to return immediately to England. They refused, and were forced to resign their positions with the Salvation Army. Less than two years later they drew up a constitution for the Volunteers of America. Ballington insisted that they would never set themselves in direct competition with the Salvation Army or any other social service organization. “We will go wherever we are needed,” he said, “and do whatever work comes to hand.”

When Ballington and Maud Booth established Volunteers of America in 1896, the mission was to “reach and uplift all people and bring them to the immediate knowledge and active service of God.” This offer of assistance embraced men, women, and children of all races, religions, and ethnic groups. Thanks to Maud’s recommendation, the constitution recognized the equality of men and women in the Volunteers of America. Today the organization facilitates thousands of human service programs that serve more than two million people in 400 communities across the United States.


To learn more about their inspirational lives and work, Maud and Ballington Booth: the founding of Volunteers of America can be purchased as an e-book for the modest price of $4.99. Search for it by name or under the heading “Mobilizing the Human Spirit” at the following book sellers: Apple iBookstore (for iPad), Amazon (for Kindle,), Barnes & Noble (for Nook) and many other e-book retailers