Donation in Action: Behold, the bread ladies
Written by Craig Dirkes, Salvation Army Northern Division writer/photographer
Many of the people The Salvation Army serves are in the middle of crazy, unpredictable circumstances. Their stories can be heartbreaking, uplifting, and everything in between.
Here are some of those stories, submitted by Salvation Army social workers and caseworkers from across Minnesota and North Dakota. Out of respect for the people involved, we are retelling these stories without using names.
If you have ever wondered how The Salvation Army uses your donations, here are some good examples:
The bread ladies
There are a few older ladies who come every day for our free bread. They sit and wait patiently for us to set the bread out. Sometimes, they wait for hours.
Even though the women almost always arrive before everybody else in need of bread, they let others pick their bread first. When the time finally comes for the ladies to pick their own bread, they take a few extra loaves for people living in their same apartment building, people who can’t get around so well.
The bread ladies always have smiles on their faces, and they always say they are blessed and thankful. Seeing them brightens my day.
Editor’s note: Pathway of Hope is a Salvation Army counseling program offered nationwide in an effort to defeat generational poverty . Learn more.
A single mother in our Pathway of Hope program has made big strides this past month.
While talking with her about her biggest barriers, she said she needed a more reliable car for the sake of her kids and her job as a certified nursing assistant. We set a goal for her: Purchase a more reliable car within the next two months.
Two weeks later, she called me for help in gathering paperwork for a car loan. We worked together and gathered all of the documentation needed to complete the paperwork.
Soon she got a new car, accomplishing the goal a month and a half ahead of schedule. I was so proud of her.
This was just the beginning for this woman. Wonderful things are ahead because she has taken the initiative to improve her life.
Mystery man opens up
A young man had been visiting our office for a few months. Every time he showed up, he was in tears and he wouldn’t say a word to anyone. We gave him bottled water, protein bars, and shelter for the day.
Gradually he began to visit us more often, usually just to find a safe place to sleep for a few hours.
In time, the young man began to talk with us and share little bits of his story. Eventually we found out he was homeless, looking for work and housing. We are doing all we can to find him a job and housing, and he is always quick to thank us for helping him.