ORLANDO, Fla. - A man is thanking the Salvation Army for saving his life.
Brian Smith, a Salvation Army Corps Sergeant Major, spoke to FOX 35 about his life.
In the early 2000s, he was addicted to drugs and living on the streets of Downtown Orlando. He said he went to jail at one point because of his addiction.
While there, Smith said he decided to change his life with a little help from the Salvation Army.
"One day, a man came out to me over here near this tree. I'll never forget, he said 'come inside.' And I went inside and that was the change of my life," he explained.
The Salvation Army enrolled him in its adult rehab center, which works to get people struggling with addiction back on their feet. He graduated from the program in 2003. He's now 17 years sober and says he's "giving back others as God wants us to do."
Smith now works at the adult rehab center, helping people just like him. He also serves as the deacon for the Salvation Army's church. He visits inmates at the Orange County Jail as well.
The Commander of the Salvation Army for Orange and Osceola County calls Smith's story inspiring, citing that "every single day, he's doing some kind of ministry to help other people so it's an amazing example of how a life that's been restored can make hope again and make things work."
Smith does not believe he would be here today if not for all the people who help the organization.
"There's many, many other people that are still out there that need help and we're trying to help them to come to us but we need your help to do that," he said.
FOX 35 is proudly partnered with the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign to help those in need this holiday season. DONATE HERE: FOX 35's Week of Giving: Help those struggling this holiday season