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Dec2WedTricia March quickly discovered a welcoming community she was desperately lacking. December 2, 2020 by Linda White
Tricia March was familiar with The Salvation Army’s national Christmas kettle campaign but didn’t know much about the organization until she walked through the doors of its Barbara Mitchell Family Resource Centre in Calgary to print copies of her resumé. She quickly discovered a welcoming community she desperately needed.
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- Faith & Friends
Descent Into Depression
At that time, Tricia had already overcome tremendous obstacles, including being told at age 21 that she’d never be able to have children.
“I didn’t think learning that affected me, but it was the beginning of nearly 20 years of heavy addictions,” she says. “Eventually, something told me I couldn’t live like that anymore, and I needed God back in my life.”
The Calgary resident took part in a spiritual pilgrimage in the city.
“It brought me back to knowing someone loved me and I was worth it,” she says.
Not long afterward, Tricia became pregnant with her “miracle baby.” But when she later separated from her young daughter’s father, she fell into a deep depression.
Life began to turn around after she dropped into The Salvation Army’s resource centre.
“Right away, I felt welcomed,” says Tricia, who started taking part in various activities there. “Chaplains let me know they were there if I wanted to talk about or needed anything. I didn’t require food, shelter or clothing. I’m not well off but I’ve learned how to live within my budget. I needed spirituality and community.”
Before long, Tricia and her daughter, now five, became regulars at the centre, taking part in cooking classes and other activities. Tricia looks forward to attending a women’s camp organized by the centre each spring, and mom and daughter attend camp together each summer. “I’ve met women from all walks of life. We all have different needs, but we have a bond. It’s like a sisterhood.”
Tricia recently returned to school to earn a university degree in social work so she can help other moms— a decision she credits to the support she’s received from the centre. She also teaches pow-wow dancing to fellow members of her Indigenous community and works at a laundry company.
“The support I received has helped me keep positive and realize I’m not alone,” Tricia concludes.
This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of The Salvation Army.
For Further Reflection
“When you donate to The Salvation Army at Christmastime, that money stays right in your local community and is reinvested in the lives of people in need,” says Lt-Colonel John Murray, territorial secretary for communications.
The Salvation Army supports vulnerable people in 400 communities across Canada in many ways, such as:
• Hunger relief for individuals and families through food banks and feeding programs;
• Shelter for people experiencing homelessness and support for those needing housing;
•Rehabilitation for those struggling with substance use disorders.
“First and foremost, the true meaning and spirit of Christmas is about others,” Lt-Colonel John says. “That might mean your friends and family or a broader circle of influence within your community that helps people who—for whatever reason—find themselves needing a helping hand. Truly, we are much more blessed to give than to receive.”