Donations in Action: Double the success

Salvation Army counselor

The Salvation Army is hard at work using the money our donors gave during the Christmas season.

Below are recent stories of service 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.

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

Double the success

A young married couple came to my office in desperate need. They had just moved to Minnesota after enduring many hardships “back home.” They wanted a fresh start.

They were living in their car, hungry, and in need of new clothing for several job interviews. I gave them food and clothing without hesitation.

The next day, the couple returned and said their car was out of gas. Without fuel, they wouldn’t be able to get to their job interviews. I gave both of them a gas card to ensure that they could make it to all of their job interviews, which were being held at locations across the city.

The next week, the couple came back again. But this time they didn’t need anything. They returned to tell me they’d both found jobs, and to say thank you.

A few weeks after that, the couple returned yet again. They announced that they had secured an apartment, and that their lives were officially on track. They thanked me one final time, saying that they might not have made it without the help they received from The Salvation Army.

Unfairly fired

A single mom came to my office in need of rent assistance. She had been fired from her job.

She wasn’t fired for poor performance. Her son lives with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and on multiple occasions she’d had to leave work early to help him through his behavioral issues.

I was able to assist this woman with one month’s rent, preventing her and her son from becoming homeless. She was overjoyed.

Moving forward, the woman is going to enroll in the Minnesota Family Investment Program, which will provide her with financial assistance so that she can focus on her son.    

Help for homeless vet

Today I had the privilege of serving a U.S. Army veteran. He was homeless and living out of his truck. He was cold, he hadn’t showered for many days, and he was almost out of gas. He needed to get to a VA center in St. Paul for further assistance.

I poured him a warm cup of tea while he filled out some paperwork. I gave him some gas vouchers so that he could get to his VA medical appointments and to a VA housing specialist. I also let him use our shower, and I scheduled a food shelf appointment for him at a nearby Salvation Army office.

The veteran thanked me multiple times. He said he had no idea The Salvation Army was so helpful.

Downward spiral

A single mom needed rent assistance after experiencing a multitude of setbacks that were beyond her control.

She had been working, but she lost her job after her baby was born premature. She spent weeks in the hospital and had gotten behind on all her bills. Although she’d gotten her job back recently, too much financial damage had been done and she was about to be evicted.

Thankfully, I was able assist this woman with her past-due rent. Now she is back on her feet. She could not have been more thankful.

The Salvation Army Northern Division pledges to do the most good with your gifts of time and money, with 81 cents of every dollar going directly to services. Join us 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.

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