The Salvation Army held various Hope in the City events across the territory in November and December to raise funds for the Army’s work at Christmas and throughout the year.
In Saint John, N.B., 900 guests heard from Ambassador to Ireland Kevin Vickers, a native of Miramichi, N.B. As the former sergeant-at-arms in the House of Commons, Vickers was responsible for taking down the lone gunman who attacked Parliament in October 2014. “My parents instilled values that include respecting the dignity of others and compassion for the less fortunate, and that is the essence of The Salvation Army,” said Vickers.
Close to 1,000 guests in Vancouver were treated to a presentation by Mary Walsh, who is best known for her work on CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes. Outside of the entertainment world, Walsh is an outspoken advocate for mental health and addiction awareness.
A Hope in the City breakfast in Calgary kicked off the city’s Christmas kettle campaign, with Mayor Naheed Nenshi on hand to make the first donation. Journalist Cam Tait helped Edmonton kick off its kettle campaign, sharing how hope helped him overcome physical limitations stemming from cerebral palsy.
Under the theme Immigrants and Refugees: From Uncertainty to Hope, Winnipeg’s breakfast featured guest speaker Abel, a young refugee from Africa who came to Canada in search of a better life. He credits the Army’s Life and Employability Enhancement Program with helping him learn to communicate in his new home, adapt to Canadian culture and integrate himself into the workforce.
In the Ontario Central-East Division, Peter Legge, CEO of Canada Wide Media Limited, gave presentations in Toronto and Barrie, while guests in Ottawa heard from Peggy Taillon, president of the Bruyère Foundation.
Stanley Cup champion Ron Ellis headlined London, Ont.’s event, while entrepreneur Jody Steinhauer spoke at the first ever Hope in the City luncheon in Windsor, Ont., and “Skid Row CEO” Joe Roberts was in Hamilton, Ont., sharing how the Army helped him get back on his feet when he was homeless.