Chelsey never needed help…until now

May 26, 2020

Chelsey is a strong single mother who has never needed to come to The Salvation Army for help … until now.

During the past two months, Chelsey has received groceries from The Salvation Army a half-dozen times. She’s among the growing number of people who are first-time visitors to Salvation Army food pantries. Donate now.

“I’ve been out of work for so long, and sometimes I’ve wondered, where are we going to get some food?” said Chelsey, 30, a St. Paul resident and U.S. Navy veteran. “The Salvation Army gave me food that lasted for days. They have come through for me 110 percent.”

Chelsey’s life turned upside down when Minnesota’s stay-at-home order was first issued in March. She was forced to leave her full-time job in retail management to care for and teach her four kids, ages 3 to 11. 

“I’ve had to use up all my vacation days and sick days,” Chelsey said. “And distance learning? Oh man, that’s a challenge on its own.” 

To further complicate matters, Chelsey’s youngest daughter lives with cystic fibrosis – a lung disorder that makes COVID-19 even more dangerous.

“She takes medicine morning and night,” Chelsey said. “When the coronavirus first started, I had to take her out of daycare immediately.”

Ever since that day, Chelsey has struggled to get through the COVID-19 pandemic, both emotionally and financially. 

“It’s hard,” Chelsey said. “I can’t take my kids anywhere because everything’s closed. We can’t go to birthday parties or have family over. We can’t do anything. This isn’t normal.”

Thankfully, Chelsey is beginning to see glimmers of hope. Recently she was able to return to work part-time with the help of her best friend, who has agreed to watch her kids while she is away. Although Chelsey might not need to rely on food assistance for much longer, she is happy to know that The Salvation Army and our supporters will always be here to help. 

“I can’t say where I’d be without the food I’ve been getting from The Salvation Army,” Chelsey said. “They’ve given me so much. They’ve helped me tremendously.”

The Salvation Army Northern Division continues to provide food and meals for thousands of people and families impacted by COVID-19 in Minnesota and North Dakota, distributing more than 1 million pounds of food during the past 10 weeks. 

Please join The Salvation Army in serving those affected by the COVID-19 crisis by giving a donation or signing up to volunteer. Your help will provide emergency assistance and hope for people and families in desperate need.

If you are feeling lonely, fearful or hopeless due to the COVID-19 crisis, call our Emotional and Spiritual Care Hotline at 877-220-4195 anytime between 8 a.m.–8 p.m. Central Time. Trained Salvation Army officers, employees and volunteers will be available to talk, listen to you, and pray for you. 

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