During a Salvation Army Christmas kettle shift in the Etobicoke area of Toronto, a man stopped to chat with me and my son, Lincoln. He told us that he was 82 years old, a former professional boxer who had competed in the Munich Olympics in 1972 as well as in numerous championships. As it happens, my son is training to be a boxer, so they traded tips.

Before he left, the man shared with us his amazing story.

Years ago, the boxer had fallen on hard times. His daughter had been beaten up by her boyfriend, and this man was so angry, he beat up the boyfriend in return. As a result, the boxer was arrested, convicted of assault and served eight months in prison.

When released, he’d lost his job and apartment, and only had a few hundred dollars to his name.

“The Salvation Army took me in, gave me shelter, food and support,” he told us. He offered them the money he had. The Army wouldn’t take it, but they did put it in a safe for him until he was out of the shelter.

“I left The Salvation Army with $800, hope and a future,” he said.

As he left us, I reflected that this was just one example that shows how The Salvation Army impacts and changes people’s lives for the better—then and now!

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