Alberta & Northern Territories Division

Total Skin Care

Local Business Wants to Give Back

05
.09

The Salvation Army is always grateful to receive support from local businesses, and recently, Total Skincare Centre in Calgary generously donated $1,000 to join the fight against poverty and homelessness.

“My dad was a big supporter of The Salvation Army,” explains Dr. John Arlette. “This is part of Total Skincare Care’s social commitment, we want to give back.”

Many thanks to the Total Skincare Centre for their donation!

 

One Comment

Katherine Crawford

I’m not too sure how many people actually know what an incredibly trying ordeal it is to find oneself homeless. Anyone can see the signs hung up in appreciation for this cause, and notice the images of an advertising campaign as it attempts to reach its target audience, but acknowledging that there is a ‘problem’ that goes way beyond just dealing with ‘problematic people’ still requires a fair amount of skill.

In my reflection, as a young girl I used to love to listen to my relatives share stories about when they first moved to Canada. I especially liked the ones where they described how they relied on the charity of ‘The Church’ to help them get established. I knew back then how important it was to stay loyal to my clan / my country – without whom I wouldn’t have been so lucky. And as a result I grew up to appreciate the way their society has evolved from a once war-time mentality into one that demands everyone acknowledges just how important we all are.

Now, I recently became an unfortunate victim of theft while on the move to a brand new city, and with brand new eyes consider how the idea of a person becoming a number doesn’t seem to need another war to find a re-occurring role. In ‘my’ society, today, finally, one that at least seems to be reasonably self sustaining, I am so unbelievably surprized to find myself in such a struggle just to locate a safe bed for the third night in a row.

Three nights ago, when I found myself with nothing, and I’ll repeat the word ‘nothing’ in an attempt to define ‘something’ someone somewhere can relate to, I half-slept on two chairs at the same bus terminal my money was stolen from while hoping security might be able to solve the problem. These are mostly men who must remain as impersonal as their job requires, and when called upon to deal with someone who is already detained – what exactly is the rest of their job?

I actually thought it was lucky that I hadn’t caught the person red-handed, or I may have become physically harmed. And unfortunately, after no-one returned it, waiting for emergency services to provide a replacement ticket wasn’t an option I was aware of until I spoke to customer service the next morning. At that time I instead decided to contact a family member hoping they would be able to collect me, however while time has continued to pass none have.

The very next night I took a streetcar and then a bus to an out-of-the-way shelter in my sad state of emergency. I passed right out-cold from lack of sleep on a mat in a co-ed ‘factory’ building that I had to take both a street-car and a bus just to get out of the way to. I lay under a black stencilled number 124 somewhere that couldn’t have been more dangerous, or inviting for anyone interested in an easy alternative to jail. And in here, I knew that if I stayed any longer than I absolutely had to it was just a matter of time before the unthinkable happened…

On my third day in town I was turned down at the YWCA. They were currently full, so I was told, and as I left I had the distinct feeling that the person who interviewed me thought I was lying. They gave me a list of phone numbers to call, but wouldn’t make any on my behalf – although I knew they knew I was going to have trouble finding somewhere else to go. And I wondered why the fact that I am so unfamiliar with my surroundings wasn’t enough of an additional incentive to help me along?

I was redirected a few blocks north to a place called ‘The Women’s Centre’ instead. Here I could make my own phone calls, sit down for a bite to eat, and waste another day familiarizing myself with whoever else might be available to help. I left a few messages regarding the original bus ticket replacement option and thought ‘That’s the way it goes I guess? Let’s see if I’ll be spending tonight sitting in a coffee shop until the ‘necessary’ people get in touch with their superiors.’

On their website a donation from a skin specialist in particular finally reminded me to look in the mirror. As soon as I did so, I realised that while my hair had been done (well,sort-of) at the time of the interview, and I had even thought to wear eye glasses in order to cover my tired eyes, my make-up had not been a top priority earlier this morning – And I should have known better being someone who has spent her entire life afflicted with acne.

So I thought to sit down and write to you about how much I appreciate the fact that you have shown such an interest in choosing this particular charity to donate to. Whether or not you realize the value of the connection, I do, because on any other regular day I usually have to take extra care just to appear ‘clean/tidy’ enough to be considered a ‘conscientious’ member of society – Never mind being thought of as a possible drug addict that wasn’t being honest about her situation.

I have never been able to solve my acne problem, and often feel discriminated against because of it, so this recent experience puts into new question for me how much more other underprivileged people can so easily be ignored simply because they begin with ‘nothing’. I now have a brand new example of just how quickly someone can dismiss the very cause they happen to be paid to work for.

One more reason I can give you today for why I haven’t been applying make-up recently. It’s because I can’t stop crying. I haven’t stopped for months now. Ever since I found myself in this system.

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