Donations in Action: ‘Broken’ woman finds hope
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 their 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 the stories without using names.
‘Repeatedly broken’ woman finds hope
The woman who stepped into my office was only two years older than me, yet she looked like she was in her late 70s. She wore thick glasses, walked with a walker, and had only one front tooth.
She said her abuser had “repeatedly broken” her. Her eyes filled with tears as she described her story of physical and emotional abuse.
I opened a Bible. I recited several verses that explained how precious she was in God’s sight; how God had designed and created her in His love; how He never leaves or forsakes anybody, no matter what.
The woman hung onto every word of scripture I spoke. Her eyes filled with tears again, but this time, they were tears of hope and assurance.
Paralyzed man gives back
An older man came to our office in need of food and other assistance. The right side of his body was paralyzed due to a recent stroke.
The man struggled to fill out the necessary paperwork. “It is too painful to continue to sign my name,” he told me, apologizing for not being able to continue.
I could see the hurt in his eyes. I told him it was OK not to finish, that he would still get food today. He was thankful for the groceries I gave him.
One week later, the man returned to my office and donated $50. He wanted to give back to The Salvation Army for helping him when he needed it most. He stated that he probably wouldn’t need assistance again, and that he was thankful The Salvation Army was there for him the one time he did.
Lights kept on during dark days
A couple showed up in dire need of HeatShare energy assistance. The husband was fighting terminal cancer and had only six months to live. He hadn’t been able to work in a long time, and the wife could only work part-time, which wasn’t enough to pay their bills.
The couple had been getting by with credit cards, but their credit had finally run out. They were facing multiple shut-off notices, among other concerns.
Through HeatShare, I was able to pay a portion of their gas and electric bills. This allowed them to avoid any utility disconnections. They were so thankful.
Although the husband’s health still left the couple in a tumultuous situation, they were happy to know that their gas and electricity would not be shut off during such a difficult time. They would be able to spend more time together and not have to worry so much about their bills.