Peter is an Iraq war Army veteran, living in upstate New York. After his second tour in Iraq, he showed severe symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that led to a two month stay at a VA Hospital.
After going through treatment and the hospital stay, Peter returned home, reunited with his family and was hired for a full-time job. The return of the symptoms of anxiety, depression and panic attacks made him realize he would not able to maintain full-time employment so he switched to part-time work. While this was more manageable for Peter, his family began to suffer financially. His wife, Sarah, worked part time and started taking as many hours as she could to help the family keep afloat.
Peter and Sarah faced a Christmas that would be very bleak for their family. Amidst all the holiday decorations and cheerful holiday songs, they knew they would not be able to fulfill their children’s Christmas wish list, not when they couldn’t even afford warm coats for them.
The Salvation Army met Peter when he thought there was no hope for a joyful Christmas. He felt embarrassed to ask for help but he and Sarah were very anxious about making a brighter Christmas for their children. The Army intake worker signed up the family for Christmas assistance. The Salvation Army officer spent a few minutes praying with Peter and thanking God for the many blessings He had bestowed on the family including Peter’s safe return from Iraq and prayed that God would show them a path of out of this darkness.
Just before Christmas at The Salvation Army, Peter’s family received clothes, toys, and warm coats for his children plus a gift for Sarah and himself. Returning home, Peter felt a deep sense of peace and gratitude for an organization that would reach out to help him and his family overcome this hurdle. Our faithful donors, like you, give The Salvation Army the ability to help those in need.
Because of your support, the Army can be the good that makes a difference in someone’s life. Because of you, we made Christmas possible for Peter and Sarah and their family and so many others!
Janet knows the joy of giving to others. During the Christmas season, Janet loved being able to support The Salvation Army by donating gifts to the Angel Tree program and volunteering to ring the bell during the Red Kettle holiday campaign. She felt blessed to be able to see the smiles on her own children’s faces on Christmas morning and always felt compelled to do what she could to help other families. “People only see The Salvation Army with the red kettles at Christmas time, but they are a 24-7, 365-day organization.”
Janet learned this lesson in the most significant way. After a recent doctor’s appointment, it was determined that Janet’s kidneys were not functioning as they should. Around the same time, her husband and the granddaughter under her care both required expensive medications for their own unexpected medical concerns. Very quickly, the cost of medications and doctor’s visits became overwhelming to her family’s finances. “All a sudden, all these medical bills and prescriptions came in and took over our budget.” Though she had never had to ask for help before, she was running out of options. Janet contacted The Salvation Army to see if there was anything they could do.
“I was a little nervous because I’ve never asked for assistance before. I didn’t know what to expect or what I should do, but the lady at the front desk was wonderful. She made it easy and very stress free. I didn’t feel like I was treated like I was needy or anything like that, except, they just understood that things happen in life.”
The Salvation Army worked with Janet’s family to provide for their basic needs during this time of crisis. Janet received far more than assistance with food and utility bills; she received the blessing of peace of mind that her family was going to be okay and that The Salvation Army willingly offers assistance to those in need.
Having experienced true need during her financial crisis, Janet realized what a significant impact the Angel Tree gifts she gave and the time she spent volunteering truly meant to those facing overwhelming circumstances.