Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

June 2, 2014

Salvation Army: Farewell, Nickums

-- — As the date of their departure nears, it’s difficult to gauge the importance of Guy and Monica Nickum to the Valdosta-Lowndes County region.

The Nickums have served the region longer than any Salvation Army captains within recent memory. Most Salvation Army captains serve about two years in a city then move as part of the organization’s rotating roster of reassignments. The Nickums have served Valdosta for five years.

In that time, they have worked wonders from their headquarters on Troup Street, as well as the neighboring transit lodge and the thrift shop on North Ashley Street.

They opened this new thrift store. The Valdosta Salvation Army is scheduled to be debt-free within weeks of their departure. They streamlined the Empty Stocking Fund toy distribution effort. They increased the number of children’s programs. They opened the site’s basketball courts to community men.

These are only a few of their contributions during the past five years.

Yet, possibly, most importantly, the Nickums have reminded the region that the Salvation Army is not just a Christmas mission of bell-ringers and empty stockings, but a mission for all of the days of the year. A mission that is part of lives and part of the community no matter the season.

In less than two weeks, the Nickums will accept their latest assignment in LaGrange, so there is still time to wish them well and thank them for their dedication to Valdosta.

Yet, as they depart, a new husband-and-wife team of captains will arrive, and the Salvation Army mission will continue, hopefully with the same daily sense of purpose as it has for the past five years.

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