News Story

Church Donates Cash to Calgary Salvation Army

Funds will help purchase essential supplies for families

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact lives and economies, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has provided a $35,000 cash donation to the Salvation Army of Calgary, Alberta, to help relieve the suffering of Calgarians experiencing homelessness.

After hearing of the drastic decline in donations to the Calgary Salvation Army 2020 Kettle Campaign, President Colin Steele of the Calgary Alberta West Stake reached out to local Salvation Army leaders to ask what the Church could do to help. The city was in the grip of bitterly cold weather, so the most urgent and immediate need was for warm blankets. Within 48 hours, the stake Relief Society had collected 398 blankets for donation. Church members, community neighbours and friends also donated sleeping bags, coats and socks to help provide warmth and protection against the elements.

To further assist ongoing Salvation Army initiatives, President Steele said, “After speaking with the local leaders of the Salvation Army, we connected with the appropriate Church leaders [at headquarters] in Salt Lake City. They quickly responded and forwarded the funds to be donated. It was an incredible experience to deliver $35,000 through Janielee Williamson, our stake Relief Society president, and Kerrie Davis, our regional JustServe specialist. The funds will go toward providing needed food supplies and basic essentials for families with babies and small children.”

Jane Ellen Forbes, community ministries manager for the Calgary Salvation Army, explained that there has been a significant increase in demand for food, infant formula, diapers and clothing during the pandemic. The Salvation Army Forest Lawn location has gone from serving 25 individuals per week to serving an average of 150 individuals weekly, some of whom are families. “As we pondered how we were going to do God’s work with so much less money, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came forward, stating they would like to help with money and with service. Their message tells us that we are not going to do this alone,” said Forbes.

Members of the Calgary Alberta West Stake Relief Society have also collected hundreds of donated hygiene supplies as part of their ongoing commitment to assist the Calgary Salvation Army’s humanitarian efforts.

Elder David C. Stewart, Area Seventy, said, “The Salvation Army is a great organization that cares for many children of Heavenly Father who are disadvantaged for a variety of reasons. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a long history of partnering with other organizations on projects that align our common goals of trying to help lift God’s children.”

Contributed by Kathleen Begieneman Carter
Newsroom Specialist, Communication, Calgary Alberta Co-ordinating Council

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