At Just the Right Time
In the aftermath of a tornado that damaged more than 100 homes, Kimberly Beck considered her family lucky. Her Whiteland home received minor damage while many of her neighbors suffered significant losses.
“We had five days without power and lost a refrigerator full of food,” Kimberly recalled. “But down another street was a house with the roof gone, cars demolished, trees ripped up by the roots.” The Salvation Army was among the first to respond, providing food, hydration, and spiritual and emotional care. Majors Mary and Michael Thomas joined forces with local government and human services organizations to help households get back on their feet. With schools closed, Kimberly was home with daughters Breslinn, 16, and Breanna, 13. Wanting to help their friends and neighbors, the trio visited the family resource center to volunteer.
“That’s where we connected with The Salvation Army,” Kimberly shared. “We were there just to ask about volunteer opportunities, but they asked, ‘How are you guys doing? What are your losses?’ Being a single mom, I'm used to doing it alone – asking for help is foreign. Major Mary made us feel comfortable. She made us feel ok about asking for help.”
The Salvation Army ’s Johnson County Red Shield Center provided financial assistance to help cover Kimberly's lost wages and the food spoiled during the power outage. As Major Mary followed up with families, she offered an opportunity for Breslinn and Breanna to attend summer camp at Hidden Falls Camp, The Salvation Army's 700-acre retreat in southern Indiana. That offer, for the Beck family, came at a pivotal time.
“I raised the girls in church,” Kimberly explained, “but my relationship with God had drifted. My girls are getting into the teen years and Ducky [Breanna] has been struggling with her own relationship with God for about the last year. It was a huge coincidence that the offer for her to attend camp came at that particular time.”
“At camp, they talk about God in a way I could comprehend,” Ducky added, describing how her time at camp made a big impact. “They took something that happened a long time ago and made it relatable to here and now. It helped me feel more connected and have a better understanding. It was an eye opener. I felt like perfection was expected – Christians never mess up. But no, He does see you as perfect no matter what because Jesus is in you and Jesus is perfection. He's divine so therefore you are divine in God's eyes. Regardless of what I am, who I am, what I do, what I say, no matter what He loves me.”