Northern Division: Serving every county in Minnesota and North Dakota
Salvation Army social worker

Donations in Action: Hope for the holidays

Added on Friday, January 4, 2019

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.

You can read some of their stories, submitted by Salvation Army social workers and caseworkers from across Minnesota and North Dakota. All of these stories took place during the 2018 Christmas season. Out of respect for the people involved, we are retelling the stories without using names.

If you have ever wondered how The Salvation Army uses your donations, here are some good examples:

Hope for the holidays

An older gentleman stopped by our office to receive food and to inquire about utility assistance. He seemed cold and distant. Cheerfully, I got him some food. When I gave him a utility application, he asked if I could fill it out for him due to his neuropathy. “Of course,” I said.

As I filled out his application, the man began to open up to me about his situation. His wife of 30 years had just been institutionalized, and this was his first Thanksgiving and Christmas completely alone.

I told the man I was so sorry. I assured him that he could stop by The Salvation Army anytime to talk through his concerns. Then I prayed with him.

The man left my office with tears of gratitude in his eyes.   

Car repairs fuel hope

A family of three had their toughest month right before Christmas. Both parents lost their jobs in late November. They were scrambling to pay for rent, electricity and food.

Thankfully, the wife was able to secure a part-time job at a local coffee shop to try and make ends meet. But while she was driving to her new job, her tire blew out. The family had no money to buy a new tire because they’d just paid all their bills.

The woman called me from her job, sobbing. She stopped crying when I told her that The Salvation Army could assist her with a new tire in order for her to continue working. I also referred her to other local agencies that could help her family during their transition. She was incredibly thankful.

A light in the dark

This was not the first time I’d met with the young woman in my office, and I knew she suffered from depression. But I didn’t know that her depression always got worse during the long, cold, dark days of winter. She said she desperately needed a light therapy box, but she couldn’t afford the $500 price tag.

I was determined to find one that was affordable, so I began searching online. Soon I found a reasonably priced unit for just over $100. I purchased it for the woman, and we prayed together.

The woman was filled with hope and peace knowing there was help available for her battle with depression. I knew the woman to have a strong faith, and she was comforted to know that The Salvation Army would always be a rock for her.     

Not forgotten

Daily I work with shut-ins and forgotten people. One such person was a dear old lady who’d broken her foot after a fall. She’d been unable to walk on or put any weight on the foot for weeks.

In the days after the woman’s accident, some of her family members came to her home to drop off food and visit with her. But eventually, they stopped coming.

Once I learned of the woman’s situation, I brought food to her home – enough to last her the entire month. In addition, my coworkers and I began to visit with her regularly so that her days between Thanksgiving and Christmas would not be so lonely.

Today, this sweet old lady’s foot is healed. My coworkers and I still check in on her regularly so that she can continue to know and experience the love of Jesus Christ.

Please join The Salvation Army by volunteering or making a donation to support your local community. Stay current on how The Salvation Army is changing lives in Minnesota and North Dakota by signing up for our e-Newsletters.