General Rick Hillier (Retired), formerly Canada’s top soldier, spoke at The Salvation Army’s inaugural Hope in the City fundraising breakfast in Saint John, N.B., in November. The event, which drew a crowd of nearly 600, was in support of The Salvation Army’s Community Response Unit (CRU).
General Hillier delivered a speech on inspiration and hope, complete with stories from his decades of military service. He also shared his connection to The Salvation Army, attending a corps while growing up in Campbellton, N.L.
“The Salvation Army has always been one of the greatest supporters of Canadian soldiers no matter where they deploy around the world,” Hillier said. “You go back to the First World War and Second World War and wherever the soldiers were, The Salvation Army was, to provide the kinds of things that you miss from your home and that you want to have with you.
“So I’ve always appreciated what The Salvation Army has done for people, for me personally and is doing here this morning for Saint John and the people who live here.”
The CRU is a mobile canteen that allows The Salvation Army to quickly respond to crises all over New Brunswick. During its first six months of operation, the CRU responded to three major fires and the Perth-Andover flood, assisting affected residents and supporting first responders. The CRU also provides weekly service from November to March in five priority neighbourhoods in Saint John to help those living in poverty.