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Sep25FriAngila Holden and her four grandchildren are helping The Salvation Army during the time of COVID-19. September 25, 2020 by Ken Ramstead
Angila Holden has taught her grandchildren well. For more than two years, Zander, two, Ethan, four, eight-year-old Braysen and 11-year-old Tyson have been collecting their nickels and dimes and donating them to a worthy cause of their choice.
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“They don’t spend their spare change, even when they sell something online or they get money for chores,” Angila says. “When they receive their allowance, they’ll buy a toy or a treat but they’ll give me the change. My grandkids know the dimes and nickels we collect are for a charity—to help others.
“I am trying to show them,” she explains, “that giving is better than receiving.”
As a result, the grandchildren have donated between $50 and $100 a year.
This spring, with the onset of COVID-19, Angila gathered the children together.
“I explained to them what was going on now, in Canada and around the world. A lot of people are out of work and many families aren’t as fortunate as we are. I proposed we donate milk to the Salvation Army food bank, and the grandkids thought that was an awesome idea,” she says.
While Angila has taken time off work to care for her grandchildren—one of whom is particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 due to a medical condition—she contacted her manager and assistant manager at Walmart, and they suggested gift cards that would go toward the purchase of milk. Angila e-transferred the money to Walmart, then she contacted Gwyneth Woods, the community and family services manager at The Salvation Army in Listowel, Ont., who was thrilled to receive the donated gift cards.
“How incredibly thoughtful of you to take the time to do what you did,” Gwyneth emailed the boys. “Rest assured that this will be used to help people in the community and kids just like you.”
Saving to Give Again
Angila was gratified with the grandchildren’s decision.
“I believe in giving back to the community, and no one does more for the community than The Salvation Army,” she says. “My grandkids understand that, too.”
“What we do is about more than just a bag of food,” says Gwyneth. “We strive to be a haven in our community, a place of comfort and an encouragement to our guests. What a blessing to see people not only move forward, but to give back and then to teach their children to do the same, like Angila has done.”
And The Salvation Army has also helped Angila and her family, when they needed help.
“The Army has always been there for me,” says Angila. “Gwyneth has helped me, and if I ever need to talk, she’s there.”
While many families in the community now have milk thanks to Zander, Ethan, Braysen and Tyson, their job is not complete as far as they are concerned.
“They’re already saving to give again,” smiles Angila.