Donations in Action: Using house calls to combat COVID-19

Apr 2, 2020

The Salvation Army Northern Division and our supporters are adapting to the COVID-19 crisis and finding creative ways to serve people and families across Minnesota and North Dakota.  

Below are several examples of how our officers, staff members, volunteers, and donors are thinking outside the box to make a positive impact on those affected by this historic crisis.

Please join our fight by giving a donation. Your gift will provide emergency assistance for those who desperately need it.

House calls for seniors

Staff from The Salvation Army Adult Day Center in Maplewood have been boosting the spirits of program participants by delivering care packages and love to their front doorsteps.

During the past week, the staff members have visited each participant’s home and stood on their front lawn, holding cardboard signs that say things like “We love you” and “We care for you.” Additionally, the staff has delivered care packages filled with goodies and activities, while also offering prayer. 

Their effort comes in response to the center being closed due to the COVID-19 crisis, which has left many participants lonely and detached. 

“One caregiver told us that her husband missed the center so very much,” said NancyLee Dahlin, Adult Day Center director. “She tried to get him to do things but he would not. He would just sit and do nothing, looking out to nowhere. He’d lost his purpose.”

During one of the visits, a caregiver had literally just found out from doctors that her husband didn’t have much time to live. 

“She ran outside, overwhelmed with emotions,” Dahlin said. “We prayed over her, and she was overwhelmed with by the Lord’s mercies.”

Special Food Deliveries

Some people do not have the ability to come to a Salvation Army food pantry, so The Salvation Army and our partners have been bringing the food pantry to them. 

This week, for example, The Salvation Army in North Minneapolis began delivering food to vulnerable residents of a nearby housing complex (pictured). More than 60 people benefitted from this service. 

An even bigger food delivery operation has just begun in partnership with Metro Mobility, which has committed 100 drivers and buses to delivering food for The Salvation Army and other Twin Cities food shelves (learn how to receive food delivery from Metro Mobility). 

Local Salvation Army food pantries continue to be busier than ever. At the West 7th Salvation Army in St. Paul, for example, the number of food boxes distributed per week has catapulted from 186 families served to 634 families and counting.  

Psalm 91

The Maplewood Salvation Army has been distributing a printed copy of Psalm 91 to every person who walks in the door for help. This 16-verse chapter of the Bible serves as a reminder that God is always with us, even in dark times. 

“Handing out a copy of Psalm 91 has been helpful because – as much as we try – we don’t always have time to sit and listen to every person’s story of hardship,” said a Maplewood Salvation Army social worker. “The people here have been thanking us for this handout as they leave with the supplies they need, like food, toilet paper, soap, and paper towels.”

Here are a few passages from Psalm 91 (NIV):

  • Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence (verse 3).
  • If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent (verses 9-10).

Sacrificial giving

A hard-working single mom who was laid off has been receiving groceries from one of our food pantries, at a time when demand continues to skyrocket. This mother has four children under the age of 10, one of whom lives with cystic fibrosis and must avoid COVID-19 at all costs. 

Several days ago, the mother noticed a neighbor woman going through her trash looking for food scraps. As the mother approached, the neighbor – who is new to our country – could only manage to say, “No money. No food.” 

Despite having four children to feed, the mother gave the woman some of the food she received from The Salvation Army, telling her how and where she also could get assistance.  

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.

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