Miss Volunteer America Reflects on the Importance of Volunteering

“I believe that we are called to help other individuals on this planet if we have the means."
Miss Volunteer America
Hannah Perrigin, Miss Volunteer America, and Nicole Linder, Miss District of Columbia Volunteer, on a visit to The Salvation Army National Headquarters

Hannah Perrigin, winner of the Miss Volunteer America 2023 pageant and first-generation college graduate from the University of Mississippi, is a regular volunteer with The Salvation Army. As Miss Volunteer America, she traveled all over the country. Over the last year, Hannah has traveled more than 30,000 miles to volunteer and work with organizations like The Salvation Army. In her home state of Mississippi, she recorded a public service announcement with a local news station encouraging young people to volunteer and help their communities. A memorable opportunity as Miss Volunteer America included hiking a glacier in Alaska in a gown for a photo shoot. Hannah recently visited the Washington, D.C. area to meet with The Salvation Army and also members of Congress. She also attended various events at the National Gallery of Art and Arlington National Cemetery. 

Hannah’s volunteer work is very important to her, having been brought up with Christian values of charity and generosity by her grandmother. She recalls orientation at the Miss Volunteer America pageant, where she and the other girls were told, “When you’re young, you may not have the funds to donate money, but you have your time.” 

“I believe that we are called to help other individuals on this planet if we have the means,” Hannah says. She goes on to say that young adults should be active in helping those around them however they can. “Now more than ever, you have all of this free time to get out there, and you can truly help change the world, piece by piece, person by person.”

Getting involved with volunteering for the first time might be difficult. Hannah is aware of this and had a similar struggle at first. “I knew that I wanted to get out there and work. Sadly, making connections is hard. But once you make these connections, they’re there.” Hannah’s advice for those looking to get into volunteering is to advocate for yourself, reach out and make connections. “Once you have these connections, it can only get bigger and better from there.”

Hannah expresses immense gratefulness to God for all that He’s done in her life. “I could write a book about all the things that God has placed in my life and how much favor He’s shown me … Whether it’s ringing a bell for The Salvation Army or speaking to children at local schools, I’m grateful that this was His plan for me. 

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