Every Christmas Season The Salvation Army serves local communities in a variety of ways that strive to meet all the greatest need that we recognize. These assistance services gift not only those in need with support & hope, but also gift us with amazing inspiration from seeing the difference we create when we come together to change lives around us. The following is a true story, but there are countless others just like it that display why The Salvation Army’s mission to Fight For Good is so important, and only possible alongside you.
Our Angel Tree Programs (Christmas Assistance Programs) are carried out in different ways and often have different names, but they all aim towards one simple goal: connecting our passionate local support directly to families in need to provide children with Christmas presents. This gives parents the financial and emotional relief from the burdens brought on during the Holiday Season. The appreciation and praise they give back to The Salvation Army is credited to our community as a whole, because these moments of impact & love are only possible with our Angel Tree sponsors, local volunteers and dedicated staff.
*Names have been changed for the sake of privacy*
- #95 -
The Salvation Army receives a call from Michelle about her Angel Tree assistance. Despite policy stating that gifts can only be signed up for & picked up by a legal guardian, she was hoping to find a work around. Michelle explained that she was in the hospital and was hoping her mother could come pick up the gifts she signed up to receive for her child. With still 2 weeks before pick-up, Michelle was told to perhaps wait and see how her recovery went before worrying too much. With a reluctant tone she opened up to The Salvation Army and shared the full severity of her circumstances. She wouldn’t be out in 2 weeks, in fact it would be several months until she would be able to come home because Michelle was in a mental ward and would be moved to a rehabilitation center after. After she explained, it was obvious that the policy didn’t need to apply to her case because she was already facing more than most can imagine. She agreed to have her mother, Tammy, come in to talk to make sure that this arrangement would work for the best.
The next day when Tammy came to The Salvation Army further light was shed on her daughter’s situation. Living in an abusive relationship for 8 years had taken a mental toll on Michelle and she had tried to take her own life. Tammy was blaming herself for not seeing the signs sooner or being able to do something before. She was comforted, heard and guided by staff to look into the Pathway of Hope program that could assist Michelle when she was out of the hospital. Tammy smiled through the tears as she was also reassured her grandchild’s presents would be there for her to pick up in a few weeks.
Right after her departure, local staff & volunteers began to sort through the latest gifts dropped off by a donor. There were enough boxes and bags to assume that the family being supported had 2 or 3 children. But when the tag was checked to see which family this went to, it read #95. This was Michelle’s number and these were all the gifts her child would be receiving on Christmas day. The Lord's work is sometimes a mystery, but that day His blessing was clearly seen. With the generosity of local support & His guiding light, Michelle and her family would be shown hope on their healing journey. The Salvation Army is joyful to be a part of this process and see moments like this that highlight the real human difference our mission can create when embraced by our communities. We thank all who were a part of our holiday support that year and every year, without you Michelle and families like hers would not be reminded that they are loved and never forgotten.
When you give your support to the local Salvation Army, you don’t know what impact you are creating on a personal level. Families in need are facing different hardships, all of which are being met by our work like the Angel Tree program. Stories and moments like this help remind us that together, it doesn’t matter if we know what others are confronting in their lives, it only matters that we work to make every moment of support a moment like #95. Take this Holiday Season to remember this and give back to others around your community, because you are the difference that allows our work to change lives.
If you wish to make an impact like this in your community during this Holiday Season, join your Salvation Army's Fight For Good by...