(Above) People line up in snowy winter weather to receive food from a Salvation Army emergency disaster services vehicle in Winnipeg

From a bakery in Toronto to Canada’s largest supermarket chain to a global business empire, the Westons are one of Canada’s most prominent—and charitable—families. Salvationist spoke with Emma Adamo, chair of the Weston Family Foundation, about their long history of giving to The Salvation Army.

Why do you continue to support the mission of The Salvation Army? Why do you enjoy giving to this organization?

My grandparents, Reta and Garfield Weston, were raised with Christian values that closely aligned with those of The Salvation Army. They admired the dedication of all those who served with the organization and greatly respected the practical and compassionate assistance they provided to the most vulnerable in society.

The Salvation Army has remained close to our family ever since. It continues to be one of Canada’s most effective and efficient organizations. Our funds go further with them than with almost anyone else. We admire that The Salvation Army helps everyone, regardless of their circumstances or faith. And, of course, we value that this assistance is given with kindness and hope. It’s a joy and a privilege to be able to support The Salvation Army.

Who has had the greatest influence on your life in terms of generosity?

My grandmother, who grew up on a small farm in Magnetawan, Ont., would tell her children, “To whom much is given, much is required.” This wasn’t just about financial giving, but a broader philosophy of service and a lesson in treating everyone, no matter what their situation, with consideration and empathy. These values continue with my aunts and uncles, who have been consistently and actively involved with our family foundation since the 1960s.

A community feeding program in Regina

What do you hope to accomplish through your giving?

We hope to give a highly effective, experienced and compassionate group of people the means to do what they do best: care for the most vulnerable and marginalized in our society.

Is there a particular gift or project you are most proud of?

There have been many wonderful projects we’ve been pleased and privileged to support over the past decades. Our most recent initiative—Community Hope in COVID-19—is a current example.

During the devastating COVID pandemic, the number of Canadians needing assistance skyrocketed, with those already experiencing hardship pushed further to the margins. Our gift of $2.75 million provided immediate support for community kitchen upgrades, Camps at Home for vulnerable children, and food banks across Canada.

We also announced a matching gift challenge to encourage others to support The Salvation Army’s food security program. We are thrilled that this has helped raise a further $5.465 million through the generosity of many Canadians.

If you were talking to someone else about giving to The Salvation Army, what would you tell them? What do you wish everyone knew about this organization?

The Salvation Army supports everyone in need, regardless of their circumstances, faith or background. They are embedded in the community so they are available to immediately respond to emergencies as well as provide essential day-to-day care. At the heart of their ethos is the belief that “each person is infinitely valuable and equally worthy,” and this shines through in the indispensable work that they do. The world would be a darker place without The Salvation Army.

This story is from:


On Monday, March 28, 2022, LWuls said:

Terrific stuff! I do worry about the "woke" direction that the Salvation Army management has taken in the past years but it's reassuring to see the organization still doing the important work we know and love them for.

On Wednesday, March 16, 2022, Marilyn Davidson said:

This is a wonderful achievement for a great cause and teaching as well. There are many individual stories to share I believe...

Leave a Comment