The Salvation Army Christmas Campaign runs October 1 through January 31, and this year the campaign raised more than $26 million in financial and in-kind donations for our programs and services. We also continued several initiatives designed to recruit volunteers and remind clients of important services available to them.
Have you ever seen the movie “The Blind Side?” It’s based on a true story about Michael Oher, a traumatized, homeless boy who would later become a first-round NFL draft pick with the help of a caring woman, Leigh Anne Tuohy, and her family. And while there are so many heart-wrenching scenes in the movie, the one that stands out the most to us is when Michael is first shown his new bedroom.
“Never had one before,” Michael admits.
“What? A room to yourself?” asks Leigh Anne.
“A bed,” Michael responds, staring amazedly at his new bed.
We can’t tell you the number of people who come to The Salvation Army with whom we could have similar conversations. These men, women and children have known nothing but a life of hardship – falling in and out of homelessness, jumping from couch to couch or living in their cars. But that changes the moment they find The Salvation Army. Continue reading “Bed & Bread Club: Fighting Hunger and Homelessness”
This winter in Chicago has been relatively mild with little less snowfall than expected… until this month. In February, our area was hit with nearly a foot of snow over a three day period, hitting a new record and putting homeless families in a bind when it comes to appropriate winter footwear.
The Salvation Army will welcome families to its new Shield of Hope emergency family shelter starting March 6. The project, a partnership with the City of Chicago, is the nation’s first rapid-response emergency homeless assessment and response center addressing the needs of families in crisis.
Lent is a time when Christians reflect on the meaning of sacrifice. For 40 days, many people give up sweets, carbs, alcohol or other “extras” to practice understanding deprivation and to strengthen / renew their faith.
If you participate in Lent, consider also reflecting on how others suffer from deprivation of some things that we may take for granted; the family with no permanent home, the man struggling with sobriety, the woman worried she may not be able to afford groceries this week. You may be inspired to add an act of compassion and generosity during your Lenten practice.