News Story

Church Donations Support Salvation Army Humanitarian Projects Across British Columbia

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently provided the Salvation Army ministry in British Columbia with funding for seven humanitarian projects. The Church’s contribution will aid communities by addressing the needs of the most vulnerable, specifically, housing, food and life skills training.

Lt. Colonel Jamie Braund, divisional commander of the Salvation Army British Columbia, and McKinley Bateman, Vancouver British Columbia Stake president, agree that supporting and collaborating with like-minded organizations is a meaningful way to make lasting, significant contributions to those in need.

Braund said, “Together, we make a meaningful impact in our communities. We give hope through the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we serve others without discrimination, and we offer dignity as we respect and value one another, recognizing everyone’s worth.”

Like-Minded Partners Serving Together

The Salvation Army and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are both Christian organizations that believe in sharing the love of Jesus Christ through serving others. Those involved in the joint projects agreed that combining efforts and resources, praying and serving side by side was an enriching experience.

George Goeders, Vancouver British Columbia Stake community and humanitarian engagement leader, worked closely with the Salvation Army ministry to determine how the Church could make a meaningful contribution. Salvation Army officers and leaders — including Kim Findlay, divisional director of development; Karenina Trinidad, leadership giving officer; and Emmy Skates, social mission regional director — further supported the collaborative effort.

Seven Humanitarian Projects Benefit

The Church donations funded the following:

  • New furnishings to provide second-stage transitional housing for women and children fleeing domestic abuse.

  • Two vans to be used for procuring more food donations.

  • Commercial kitchen equipment and supplies to expand the capacity for meal service and hot lunch programs in four communities.

  • Outreach services for life skills training and counselling services.

The humanitarian funds will benefit the British Columbia Salvation Army ministry units in Vancouver, Surrey, Abbotsford, Nanaimo, Gibsons and Fort St. John.

Appreciation for the Church’s Donations

Representatives from the Salvation Army ministry units benefitting from the Church’s humanitarian funding described the impact of these donations.

Esther’s Place, Vancouver, British Columbia. “Esther’s Place provides a safe place for women and their children who are fleeing violence. This very generous donation will make this safe place a welcoming place that feels like home … and provide these women and children a strong foundation to move on from. We are so thankful,” said Caroline Lander, executive director.

The Gateway of Hope, Langley, British Columbia. “The Salvation Army Gateway of Hope currently procures 65,000 pounds (29,500 kilograms) per year of food from donations. With a larger van, we expect to increase our intake by 25 per cent, or 15,000 pounds (6,800 kilograms) per year. This additional food will allow us to serve up to 8,000 more meals per year or [fill] 300 more food hampers. We are grateful for this generous donation,” said Justin Napier, executive director.

New Hope Centre, Nanaimo, British Columbia. “The New Hope Centre in downtown Nanaimo provides emergency shelter, transitional housing, support for men and women, and outreach support to our brothers and sisters living on the street. These vulnerable members of society very often do not experience dignity and safety as they make their way through each day. Through the kindness and support of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this situation has improved. Thank you for helping us give hope in downtown Nanaimo,” said Bern Muller, executive director.

Salvation Army, Fort St. John, British Columbia. “‘I don’t know what I would do without you’ is something we have heard multiple times from people in crisis who look to our Community and Family Services, which hosts the only food bank in our community. This unique humanitarian funding will help us equip our kitchen, reduce waste and redirect nourishing food to individuals and families in need. … It makes a world of difference,” said Jared Braun, executive director.

The Sunshine Coast Community Church, Gibsons, British Columbia. “We are very excited about the possibilities the new dishwasher will bring to our food security programs. The use of real plates and cutlery will enhance the dignity and respect of people who attend. Thank you for your generous support and commitment to vulnerable people in our communities. Blessings,” said Darrell Pilgrim, ministry director.

A Success Story

Partnerships with community organizations like the Salvation Army allow the Church to assist in caring for those in need. President Bateman expressed his respect and deep appreciation for the character, leadership and skill demonstrated by the Salvation Army leaders and their many ministry units throughout British Columbia as they worked with Church leaders on the humanitarian projects.

Elder M. Travis Wolsey, Area Seventy, North America West Area, said, “I am thrilled with our loving and co-operative working relationship with our friends at the Salvation Army. We have been able to not only combine efforts, resources and volunteers to accomplish the work of caring for those in need but also strengthen each other’s faith in Jesus Christ as we have prayed together and served side by side in beautiful ways.”

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