Keeping Hope Alive
BRAZIL, IN - Over the past two years, Valerie Killon has worked with hundreds of people searching for a little hope during difficult times. As a volunteer Service Extension Representative for The Salvation Army, every day she sees firsthand what hardship looks like in her community. “I like volunteering at The Salvation Army,” Valerie shares. “It’s definitely been an eye-opener. I knew that there were people in need, but you really see it working with The Salvation Army, especially right now with COVID and everything.”
The pandemic has impacted Valerie’s community, just as it has cities and towns all across Indiana. Families that struggled before last year’s shutdowns now find themselves even further behind. More requests come to The Salvation Army every day for help with electric bills and food because local residents have lost jobs, are working fewer hours, or need to stay home with children attending school virtually.
“There’s a much bigger need for food,” explains Valerie. “We do have a Pantry Blessings here at our church. They do it once a week, but sometimes if clients need it real bad I’ll go down there and get some food for them. Then I usually write them a check using Salvation Army funds for $100 for the grocery store.”
These are temporary fixes, but as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark, The Salvation Army is doing all it can to keep Hoosiers from losing all hope for better days to come. “They still come in with a smile, even with everything that’s going on,” Valerie says. “One mom that came in every now and then before the pandemic comes in regularly now. She’s a single mom with three kids and she’s struggling, but she hasn’t given up. None of us have.”