A Salvation Army ChristmasMagazineMagazine Features

A New Perspective on Giving

Mary never dreamed that she and her family would one day find themselves desperately needing help. Just two years before, they were actually the ones helping families in need.

Being on the giving end prevented us from truly knowing what our family was doing for the families we had helped. Now, we know. And one day, we hope to again be able to help other families.” —Mary
“We had adopted at least one family every year at Christmas,” Mary says. “One year, we helped three families through The Salvation Army’s Adopt–a–Family program. It was such a wonderful feeling.”
Then a car accident changed everything. The impact broke 13 of Mary’s bones. It also crushed the comfortable and secure lifestyle that she and her family had enjoyed.

As medical bills from Mary’s hospital stay and subsequent rehabilitation mounted, her family of four fell deeper into debt. Unable to walk or to work, she lost her job. Within months, they moved into a homeless shelter. Mary’s battle to walk again had turned into a greater struggle to survive.

TemporaryShelter_smA call to The Salvation Army began Mary’s economic recovery. A caseworker helped the family find affordable housing, a job for Mary, and an opportunity for her to attend school part–time.

Receiving more help at Christmastime was icing on the cake.

“We wouldn’t have had a Christmas without The Salvation Army’s help,” Mary says. “You have given my children the gift of feeling special and cared for.

“Being on the giving end prevented us from truly knowing what our family was doing for the families we had helped. Now, we know. And one day, we hope to again be able to help other families.”

Story provided by the Columbus Area Services.

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