Greater Pittsburgh Advisory Board Spotlight: Barry Somerville
Barry Somerville always knew The Salvation Army for its iconic annual Red Kettle Campaign during the Christmas season.
But after completing Leadership Pittsburgh’s Emerging Leaders program and becoming an intern with The Salvation Army’s Greater Pittsburgh Advisory Board, his eyes were opened to the sheer number of hardworking volunteers and members assisting in many different programs across the region.
“What really hit home for me was hearing the personal story of a victim of human trafficking during a 2019 banquet benefiting The Salvation Army,” Barry said. “Hearing how terrible and prevalent human trafficking is, even within the Pittsburgh area, really opened my eyes to the work the organization is doing to support those at greatest risk.”
A Portfolio Program Manager at FedEx Ground, he had a specific goal after graduating from Leadership Pittsburgh: to find an organization that enabled him to demonstrate to his young daughters the importance of giving back to the community.
“I’ll never forget in 2019 when my daughters spent the day volunteering at a kettle with me.” Barry said. “They were so excited to ring the bells, sing Christmas songs, and collect money to support so many in need. My girls still remember a woman who placed a hundred-dollar bill in the kettle that day and understand the importance of that woman’s act.”
While Barry is inspired by the long list of Salvation Army programs that are helping people every day, he is particularly touched by The Salvation Army’s Family Caring Center, a unique homeless shelter that keeps families unified during difficult times.
“Typical homeless shelters are often gender specific. The Salvation Army’s Family Caring Center welcomes entire families,” Barry said. “Is there anything more important than being accepted and surrounded by your loved ones as you work to get back on your feet?”
Barry and his wife, Nicole, and have been together since high school. They live in Oakdale with their two wonderful daughters, Violet and Olivia, who keep them on their toes.