Working in the media, I’m fortunate to have the chance to chat with people both on-air and out on-location, verbally or through social media and TALK or TEXT at 250-545-7557. I’m always pleased to receive emails at firstname.lastname@example.org and sometimes I get letters.
This letter was dropped off anonymously yesterday during the on-location for the the Kettle Campaign Kickoff with the Salvation Army at Save-On Foods. What’s said in this letter is a reminder to us all why we chat with people, have a connection, make a phone call, make a donation, give a helping hand or maybe even ring those bells and volonteer for the Salvation Army or another organization.
The letter reads:
Sadly, in the early 80’s me and my young family (1 year old and a 3 year old) found ourselves unemployed and bankrupt. We were not eligible for EI as we had owned our own successful company that tanke when the crunch hit. We had over 200 unanswered resumes out there, no vehicle and the buses were on strike. We sold everything we had, including the chairs we sat on, in an effort to feed our children. I will never forget how humbled I was when I could only scrounge 45 cents and the grocer allowed me to get a pint of milk for my baby, even though I was short 50 cents.
We finally gave in and reached out for help. We ended up on welfare. We were devastated to find ourselves there but our children had to come ahead our our pride.
It was a few days before Christmas but you would never know it. No tree, no music, no gifts in our home. We heard a knock on our door and when I opened it a lovely couple was standing there in Santa hats and a box of food…..including everything we needed for a wonderful turkey dinner on Christmas day. They even included cranberry sauce!
I could not stop crying.
What happened next was, after we were sure they had left, another knock came to our door. When I opened it again this same couple in Santa hats were on our door step with wrappped presents for our two toddlers. Again, I couldn’t stop crying. I hugged them both and thanked them through my sobs. The gentleman gave me a cotton hankerchief to dry my tears and said to keep it. I still have that handkerchief and I place it lovingly a tthe base of my Christmas tree every year.
My oldest is now 36. He talks about the day “The good strangers came to our door” every single Christmas.
Thankfully, we did manage to get back our feet and never, ever, found ourselves that devastated again. We are so grateful for the kindness show to us that Christmas and have vowed to never forget to help the Salvation Army and the Food Bank. They are the Good Strangers that go to the doors of those who need it,
Merry Christmas and God Bless you all!”
“This is where donations to Salvation Army go through the year:
● Mom’s and Tot’s Program
● Youth programming – new this year, Red Cap Anger Management for teens
● Women’s Programming – Breakthrough, G.R.O.W., Ladies Art and Fellowship
● Emergency Disaster Services – we are wanting to expand this area in the coming year.
● New this year – Fresh produce program for the Food Bank – have produce all year round and not
just during the summer months.
● New this year – program to help people cook healthier meals from the food they receive in their
● New this year – Men’s Program – breakfast one saturday a month
● Giving out gift cards this year instead of food hampers – to allow people to have the dignity to
shop for themselves and choose foods that they enjoy.
● Angel Tree Locations – Arrow Day spa, Nolan’s Pharmacy, Colour Time Ceramics, Teeter Totter
● Realtor food drive on December 6, 2017 – these donations last until May.
● Provide between 250-300 hampers a month
● $454,000 raised last year leading up to Christmas – approximately 680 food hampers, expecting
around the same this year.
● Christmas Campaign goal of $500,000
● Volunteer and donate at www.vernonhouseofhope.com”
We are a month away to Christmas Eve. Perhaps the above anonymous letter and Salvation Army info has given you pause for thought. Maybe it’s a reminder of what really is important in life caring and giving and sharing.