When Anna Dean’s parents, Malcolm and Diana Dean, immigrated to Canada from England in 1948, they knew no one.
When they got off the ship at Pier 21 in Halifax with their two toddlers, Anna’s parents were offered hot drinks by The Salvation Army and asked if they needed shelter, clothes or food.
The family didn’t need additional help, but the act of kindness made a lasting impression. For many years, Anna (who was born later), and her three siblings heard the story over and over again.
Anna is now director of operations for Olympic Transportation for TransLink, the Greater Vancouver public transportation system. During the Olympics it is expected that waits at SkyTrain stations could reach up to an hour.
When the question arose what could be done for the people in those lineups, Anna immediately thought of The Salvation Army.
Close to 2,000 Salvation Army volunteers will be placed at up to 20 SkyTrain stations, as well as ‘departure hubs’ (where people catch buses to Whistler, for instance) and events locations. Volunteers will offer hot coffee, hot chocolate and cold water, and engage people in conversation.
If a couple of hot drinks offered to Anna’s parents had such an impact, imagine what millions of drinks can do.