In every community across Canada and Bermuda, there are individuals whose generosity toward The Salvation Army positively impacts the lives of people going through hardship. The reasons why they donate may be different, but it usually stems from an impactful experience that led them to choose The Salvation Army.

Here are just three examples of donors, among countless others from coast to coast, who continue to help The Salvation Army give hope:

A Monthly Thank-You

Elda Egan donates to The Salvation Army because she is thankful for the support they gave to her son.

Luke, who was struggling with severe mental illness, started going to the Salvation Army food bank in Prince George, B.C. According to Elda, this not only helped Luke ensure his food security but it also provided him with a safe space that he enjoyed.

“He felt very supported by The Salvation Army, and they knew him by name,” Elda shares. “I started to support The Salvation Army because it was my way of giving back to the group that was helping my son.”

In October 2022, Luke passed away, but Elda has continued to provide a monthly donation to the food bank as a thank-you for their help and acceptance.

Tea and Sympathy

For other donors, the inspiration behind their support has come from a single event that marked them. On November 29, 1963, a tragedy occurred that changed the life of George Stevens. On this day, Trans-Canada Air Lines (now Air Canada) Flight 831 from Montreal to Toronto crashed shortly after take-off. All 118 people on board were killed, including George’s brother, who was returning from a business trip.

After hearing on the news that the flight had gone missing, George rushed to the airport in Toronto to find his sister-in-law. When he arrived, there was chaos. George and his sister-in-law were led into a private room along with 45 other people who were anxiously waiting for news of their loved ones.

“Salvation Army members were around within 20 minutes after the news announcement. I had no idea how they got there so quickly." GEORGE STEVENS

When George entered the room, he noticed that members of The Salvation Army were already there, trying to comfort people.

“What amazed me was that Salvation Army members were going around offering tea, coffee and words of sympathy,” George says. “This was all within 20 minutes after the news announcement of the missing plane. I had no idea how they got there so quickly. It made a terrific impact on me.”

What he witnessed that day inspired George to make annual donations to The Salvation Army. George trusts the Army to allocate the funds where they are most needed.

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Sometimes, the reasons for donating can be generational as well.

Lorna Court is a committed donor to The Salvation Army’s Harbour Light in Vancouver. When she was young, she remembers that her mother donated to the Army, as they helped her mother’s cousin, Pat, when he battled alcohol addiction.

Lorna believes Harbour Light was responsible for turning Pat’s life around. Shortly after her mother passed away, Lorna decided she would continue donating to Harbour Light, just as her mother did.

Lorna makes three-year monetary donation commitments to help Harbour Light with specific improvement projects, she has supplied the education centre at Harbour Light with hundreds of books, and she has a bequest listed for the Army in her will.

“It’s an honour to be a part of the work The Salvation Army does,” Lorna states. “It just makes me so proud to be able to help with the wonderful work they do.”

Juan Romero is the staff writer/news media relations specialist at The Salvation Army’s territorial headquarters in Toronto.

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