Victoria – A Salvation Army Success Story

At The Salvation Army of Georgia every day is about Christmas, because the programs and services we offer are provided in part by the generous Christmas-time donations from Georgians all across our state.

The Salvation Army Red Kettles provide toys for kids, coats for the homeless, food for the hungry and countless social service programs year-round. That’s why the bells never stop ringing, because the coins and dollars dropped in a Salvation Army Red Kettle will feed, clothe, house, uplift, relieve and support those individuals and families in need throughout Georgia all year long.

Victoria was one of those individuals helped by generous donors through The Salvation Army. After serving her prison sentence of 6 years, Victoria found herself living on the streets of Brunswick, GA. For 7 months, she wandered around feeling helpless, confused, and alone – unsure of how to start rebuilding her life and make ends meet while navigating the unknown waters of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With nowhere to go and no support system to guide her, she became anxious and her future looked bleak. The daily struggle to find basic necessities became even more challenging as the pandemic caused generous city-goers to quarantine inside and food establishments to close. The fear and uncertainty of this unprecedented time added to her already stressful situation made her feel cornered and hopeless.

Just as her perseverance was about to run out, she learned of a Salvation Army shelter – a shelter that was open to anyone. This particular shelter differed from the others, as the people seeking its refuge from effects of the COVID-19 pandemic did not need to be Salvation Army clients to stay. Victoria was immediately drawn to the shelter because of its close proximity, ease of admission, and welcoming spirit – it looked like a second chance.

The shelter refueled her hope, nourished her body and soul, and inspired her to continue pushing forward. After her 3-week stay there, she decided to become an official Salvation Army client and transfer to the original Salvation Army Homeless shelter in Brunswick to begin the free, 90-day program centered around self-sustainability.

Through this program, Victoria was able to secure personal shelter, take classes on budgeting and other crucial life skills, and obtain a stable job as a warehouse worker on Saint Simons Island. She successfully graduated from the shelter’s program, created a solid foundation for her life, and fostered many meaningful relationships along the way. Because of her new skill sets and support systems, she no longer feels lonely, scared, or off track.

Victoria often comes back to visit the shelter’s staff and clients – people who she now describes to be lifelong friends. In one of her most recent visits, she shared the exciting news that she had reconnected with an old friend after leaving the shelter’s program – a friend in which she had fallen in love with and decided to marry.

A stable job, happy marriage, and fulfilling life didn’t seem feasible just a few months ago for her, but with the assistance and support of The Salvation Army, Victoria has made it a reality.

Victoria’s success was made possible only by generous donors to The Salvation Army and for that, we offer a warm, year-round “Thank you!”

To learn more about the programs and services provided by generous donors, through The Salvation Army, visit www.SalvationArmyGeorgia.org.

Community Turns Out For Can-A-Thon

ATLANTA, GA (December 9, 2021) – While the number of people in the United States described as “food insecure” has risen dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Salvation Army in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, hopes its annual Can-A-Thon will make a difference.

Major Bob Parker, Southern Territory Area Commander for Metro Atlanta, said more than 800,000 people were desperately in need of food supplies in Atlanta and North Georgia.

“Food insecurity has been with us for a long time [but] it’s certainly increased during the time of the pandemic,” he said. “What we’ve found is families and individuals have been faced for the first time with some really tough decisions – to put food on the table, to pay rent or utility payments or, for seniors, to buy medicine.”

He said the Army’s 39th annual Can-A-Thon was launched on 3 December at three locations around the city with the aim of stocking the 13 food pantries it runs in the metropolitan area. It is run in partnership with online television channel 11Alive and Publix supermarkets. The Army had hoped the public would donate around 200,000 cans of non-perishable food, but the figure was more than 297,000 at the end of the day.

Bob said the Army had served more meals across the US to struggling families and individuals in the first six months of this year than it served in 12 months last year. “In Atlanta in the first six months of this year, we served over 156,000 meals and [delivered] about 16,000 food boxes to families.”