Why Agnieska Loves Wednesdays – and The Salvation Army

Jan 14, 2022

Agnieska loves Wednesdays. From the time the mom of three wakes up on hump day, she’s filled with excitement, knowing she’ll put on makeup and nice clothes and go see her good friends at The Salvation Army Norridge Citadel.

Wednesday nights are their parenting classes, when moms and dads throughout the community gather to learn from and support each other. “We talk about what to do when we have problems with our kids. When they don’t listen or go the wrong way or are on their phone too much,” Agnieska said. Sometimes they listen to a guest speaker or watch a helpful video.

“It means a lot. Wednesday is special day,” she said.

Agnieska’s three children – 7-year-old Emilia, 5-year-old Maya, and 3-year-old Helena – share their mom’s love of Wednesdays. “They’re always asking, ‘Mommy, when is it going to be Wednesday?’” That’s because while their mom is learning, elsewhere at the Norridge Citadel Emilia is taking piano lessons, Maya is doing arts and crafts, and Helena is in the playroom with the other kids. Agnieska is grateful that Wednesdays are a special day for her daughters as well.

Agnieska’s journey with The Salvation Army began nine years ago when she was pregnant with her first child. Finances were tight at the time, so she frequented their food pantry. There she met Pamela Church-Pryor, the Community Ministries Director. “Lovely Pamela,” Agnieska said. “We would hug and talk, and I would leave so happy.”  

When Pamela learned that the expectant mom had nothing for the baby, she worked with the Army to buy her a crib, clothes, sheets, diapers, and other supplies. “That was so special,” Agnieska said, remembering that she cried when she received the gift. “I never forgot,” she said, adding that she used that crib for all her children, the sight of it always reminding the young mom of Pamela and the Army’s support.

When life settled a bit, Agnieska and her kids’ father started volunteering at the Norridge Citadel, assisting other young parents by helping to make meals for the Breakfast with Baby program. They received Christmas presents for their children through our Angel Tree program.

When Helena was born with a hole in her heart and in her stomach, spending months in the neonatal intensive care unit, the Norridge Citadel community supported the family with prayer and practical help. (Helena is fine now, thankfully.)

In recent years, Agnieska and her kids have been watching the Norridge Citadel church services on her phone. And when Agnieska lost her caregiving job because her elderly patient died, Pamela prayed with her and connected her with Army programs to meet her needs.

“Salvation Army means a lot to me,” Agnieska said. “When I have a hard time – the kids are sick, I lose a job – they always talk with me, hug me. What I love most about Salvation Army – they are always for me. Always, always, always.”  

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