Hope Marches On: Restaurant server stays afloat

Dec 8, 2021

Hope Marches On is a story series featuring real-life examples of how your donations to The Salvation Army Northern Division help people in Minnesota and North Dakota to overcome food insecurity, eviction, inflation, and other hardships caused by the pandemic. 

Amber is a career restaurant server who lives in St. Paul. Before the pandemic struck, she’d never needed anyone’s help to make ends meet. 

COVID-19 changed that. Suddenly, she was without a job and in need of food assistance. For the first time ever, she stopped by her local Salvation Army food shelf to receive a free box of groceries. 

“It’s humbling to receive food when you can’t afford it, when you have to spend that money on rent or other bills,” Amber said. “I’m used to being the person who is giving.”

Amber had spent years working at an upscale restaurant in St. Paul, only to become unemployed during Minnesota’s shutdown. She stayed afloat by dipping into her savings and working odd jobs. 

These days, Amber no longer feels bad about stopping by her local Salvation Army whenever she needs a helping hand.   

“The staff says there is plenty of food for everybody and they are here to help,” Amber said. “I’ve never felt judged or shamed by the people who work at The Salvation Army. I am always amazed by their warmth and grace. It makes a tough situation lighter.”

In addition to getting food at The Salvation Army, Amber and other guests receive something else that is just as important: love.

“What’s so beautiful about coming to The Salvation Army is that I’ve gotten to know the people who work there and the volunteers,” Amber said. “They say things like ‘I missed you’ and ‘We haven’t seen you in a while’ and ‘It’s always so nice to see you.’ It puts humanity into the situation. I get teary-eyed when I think about it.”

Your donations to The Salvation Army provide food for people like Amber and thousands of others. Thanks to your generosity, The Salvation Army Northern Division last year provided nearly 5.3 million meals in Minnesota and North Dakota.   

You can do something good this holiday season by donating to The Salvation Army, volunteering, or ringing bells at a Red Kettle. Your help will provide food, shelter and care for local families in need. Because of you, Hope Marches On

*Photo illustration used to protect identity

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