Making a Difference in the Midwest During COVID-19, July 22

Jul 23, 2020

Senior citizens are a particularly vulnerable group during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are prone to complications of the virus and may be susceptible to other financial or medical consequences as they stay safe at home. The Salvation Army is working to help our seniors during the pandemic by providing food assistance, wellbeing checks, and financial and housing assistance.

Welcome Relief After COVID-19

Have you ever had one of those times in your life when it felt like problems were piling on, one after another? Ronnie Samuel, of the greater Detroit area, must have felt this way just a short time ago. The 61-year-old took time off work as a security guard while he recovered from kidney transplant surgery, and then he tested positive for COVID-19. During his illness and recovery, Ronnie needed to quarantine and be socially distanced from others. The bills began to stack up. Ultimately, Ronnie’s utility bills totaled more than $4,000. That’s when he turned to The Salvation Army for help. The person who answered the phone assured Ronnie that everything would be all right, greatly easing his anxiety. “She was very professional. She was helpful,” Ronnie said. “The Salvation Army grabs you and pulls you back in. It was a huge help to me. It was awesome. I just want to thank them so much.”

Wellbeing Check Saves a Life

Noelle, a Metropolitan Division Social Services staff member, was helping the Senior Services team to conduct wellbeing checks on behalf of the City of Chicago. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Division has seen these requests increase as many seniors stay safe at home. When Noelle knocked on his door, Tom opened it a crack. While the two were talking, she noticed that Tom’s leg was extremely swollen and there was an odor which alarmed her. Tom didn’t indicate a need for medical treatment for his leg, but Noelle felt compelled to call her program manager for advice. The recommendation was for Noelle to call 911. The paramedics talked with Tom and gained his trust. Tom then allowed them to take him to the hospital for treatment. The paramedics told Noelle that Tom’s leg would not have healed on his own, and she very likely saved his life.

Tom had put off treatment for his injured leg. This is not uncommon behavior for some seniors who may fear contracting COVID-19 while seeking treatment. Noelle’s keen observation and action to help Tom was just what he needed and at exactly the right time.

The Salvation Army is here to help seniors when they need it most. Through wellbeing checks, seniors like Tom are identified as needing assistance and problems are addressed. Other seniors like Ronnie know that The Salvation Army is there to help them get back on their feet. Please join us as we continue Doing the Most Good within our local communities.

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