Dignity Challenge

The Salvation Army believes that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity—year round. With this in mind, we invite you to participate in our Dignity Challenge, simple acts of kindness that say we are all the same, created with value and worthy of respect. Treating individuals in a manner that supports a positive self-image is a responsibility that we have.

Day One: Cook a Meal

Cook for a neighbour, friend or family during a crisis or time of trouble. There’s a lot to be said for the benefits of good, home-cooked food when you are emotionally and physically low on reserves.

Related story:
Agata not only fell into poverty, but was diagnosed with cancer. Unable to work, practical assistance saw her through the toughest of times. Click here to read.

Day Two: Offer Free Babysitting

For many parents, childcare and babysitting are an expense. Offer to take care of a child for a couple of hours to give parents the break they need.

Related story:
When Danielle broke the cycle of addiction she focused on her parenting skills and getting a better education. Click here to read.

Day Three: Spend Time With a Senior

In Canada, seniors make up the fastest growing age group. By 2026, one in five Canadians will have reached age 65. Take time to encourage and learn from a senior in your community.

Related story:
From coast to coast The Salvation Army provides emotional, practical and spiritual support for Canada’s growing population. Click here to read.

Day Four: Talk With a Person Experiencing Homelessness

The next time you pass someone on the street asking you for spare change, take a moment to talk with them. By doing this you are telling the person that they are special, and that you are interested in them as a person.

Related story:
Rick’s life was beginning to unravel. But, while he slept under trees and in abandoned houses, he still wanted to feel important. Click here to read.

Day Five: Ask Someone About Their Culture

Do you know someone who is from a different culture than you? Ask them to tell you about their cultural values and traditions.

Related story:
When Millie landed on Canadian soil she soon discovered differences between ‘home’ and a ‘foreign’ country. Click here to read.

Day Six: Make a New Friend Today

Introduce yourself to a stranger and strike up a conversation. Maybe there is someone you’ve seen on the bus or in the neighbourhood. Ask them how they’re doing.

Related story:
Blake struggled with human interaction and was extremely shy. A program for first-time fathers that included social activities helped him gain confidence and new friends. Click here to read.

Day Seven: Treat Someone to Fresh Fruit

Hunger is a hidden pain. For some it comes down to food versus rent, food versus heat, and food versus medicine. Offer someone some fresh fruit.

Related story:
Most people don’t eat enough fruit. Paul isn’t homeless, but lives on a fixed income for the severely disabled. Healthy food is not a priority for him. Click here to read.

Day Eight: Be a Friend Who Listens

If you have a friend going through a rough time, offer to listen to them over coffee.

Related story:
For decades Murray felt like a loser, worthless and alone. Click here to read.

Day Nine: Encourage Someone Who Needs It

A little recognition can make a world of difference in someone’s life and it’s simple to do. You can encourage someone with words, a hug, a gift, an email or phone call.

Related story:
When foster care didn’t work out, Nikki fled to the streets. She slept in backyards, in bus shelters and alleyways. No one ever looked into her eyes and took a genuine interest in her. Click here to read.

Day Ten: Teach Someone a New Skill

Avoid presumptions about a person’s abilities. Teaching someone a new skill is empowering.

Related story:
Paul has Down Syndrome. At age 22, being taught how to use public transportation has fulfilled a personal milestone on his road to independence. Click here to read.

Day Eleven: Transport Someone Who Can’t Drive

Those of us who have cars often take for granted that we can drive anywhere we want, whenever we want. Offer someone in your community a ride so that they can complete an errand more easily.

Related story:
New immigrants from war-torn countries face a host of challenges. Learning to drive on Canadian roads is one way to make their lives easier. Click here to read.

Day Twelve: Donate to a Food Bank

Others may not be as fortunate as you. While many people struggle to find work and provide for their family, putting food on the table gets harder and harder. You can help by donating to a food bank in your community.

Related story:
A failed marriage and a move to a new community left Petlyn with three young children and a truckload of challenges. Click here to read.

Day Thirteen: Forgive Someone

We all make mistakes. The next time someone wrongs you, forgive them without hesitation.

Related story:
Overcoming addiction wasn’t easy for Jay. Forgiveness was a big part of his recovery. Click here to read.

Day Fourteen: Send a Hand-made Card to Someone

Encouraging someone will make them feel better about themselves.

Related story:
Learning new skills restores a sense of dignity to the unemployed and gives them hope for a better future. Click here to read.

Day Fifteen: Donate Used Clothing

Your clothing donation positively impacts:
• Programs that serve families and individuals from all walks of life
• Customers who rely on access to quality goods at great values
• Waste reduction

Related story:
With more than 300 nationally and locally operated thrift stores from coast to coast, The Salvation Army operates one of Canada’s largest national clothing recycling operations. Click here to read.

Day Sixteen: Brighten Someone’s Day

Spend time with or do something special for someone who could use a friend.

Related story:
While Rebecca initially lived with family in Canada, she missed her husband and friends who were back in China. She tried to put on a brave face, but it wasn’t easy. Click here to read.

Day Seventeen: Thank Someone

Surprise someone who has helped shape who you are with a card or letter to let them know you appreciate them.

Related story:
Jenny broke free from her abusive husband. She is grateful for the support systems that restored her confidence and self-worth. Click here to read.

Day Eighteen: Make Someone Laugh

A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after. Laughter helps people cope, particularly during extreme personal crisis and upheaval.

Related story:
Mumford House, a 40-bed emergency shelter, serves women, children and youth desperate for refuge. It’s a safe place where clients can learn to smile and laugh again as they regain their dignity. Click here to read.

Day Nineteen: Pray for Somebody

Pray for someone you love, someone in need — perhaps critical, desperate need.

Related story:
Former gangster finds new life with The Salvation Army. Click here to read.

Day Twenty: Volunteer

In 2011, 202,000 volunteers from all walks of life gave more than 1.4 million man hours to The Salvation Army, helping people at their greatest point of need. Click here to volunteer with The Salvation Army.

Related story:
Kayla says volunteering was a life-changing experience for her. It boosted her confidence and self-esteem. Click here to read.

Day Twenty-One: Phone Somebody

While in today’s society e-mail has become status quo, a phone call might make someone feel extra special and is likely to be remembered long after a typical chat conversation.

Related story:
Special words can make a big difference in someone’s day. At Pembroke’s interactive youth drop-in centre teens gain a sense of belonging and feel good and confident about themselves. Click here to read.

Day Twenty-Two: Write a Thank-You Note

When someone does something nice for you, return their generosity with a pleasant thank-you note. Saying thank you generates positive feelings.

Related story:
Jessyka thanks The Salvation Army’s Grace Haven for support when she needed it most. Click here to read.

Day Twenty-Three: Acknowledge a Public-Service Worker

Saying a personal thank you to people working to make life better for you, such as bus drivers, teachers, medical personnel, construction workers, crossing guards or sanitation workers, will make them feel appreciated and valued.

Related story:
Many hands get jobs done. Community partnerships complete renovations that improve the experience of clients needing help. Click here to read.

Day Twenty-Four: Help Someone for Free

What about doing work for others when you aren’t getting paid? When you lighten the load for someone you are investing in their lives. People feel loved and valued when they get a hand up.

Related story:
A team of volunteers set up shop at The Salvation Army to process tax returns for free for low-income families. Click here to read.

Day Twenty-Five: Be Generous With Compliments

A simple compliment can improve someone’s day and make them feel better about themselves.

Related story:
The road to recovery wasn’t easy for Debbie. Praise from her support network helped her replace unworthiness and shame with dignity and pride. Click here to read.

Day Twenty-Six: Share an Inspirational Quote

A little encouragement can help people get away from whatever is bringing them down. Share an inspirational quote on facebook and/or twitter.

Related story:
Rory was raised in a Christian home. Reinforcement from his parents helped him sober up and make better choices. Click here to read.

Day Twenty-Seven: Ask If You Can Help

Many people find it difficult to ask someone for help. Ask someone how you can help make a situation better.

Related story:
The Salvation Army is passionately committed to caring for people who are struggling, believing that all persons are infinitely valuable and equally worthy. Click here to read.

Day Twenty-Eight: Renew a Friendship

Many people find it difficult to ask someone for help. Ask someone how you can help make a situation better.

Related story:
The Salvation Army is passionately committed to caring for people who are struggling, believing that all persons are infinitely valuable and equally worthy. Click here to read.

Day Twenty-Nine: Hold the Door Open for Someone

Holding the door open is polite and thoughtful. Actions can sometimes speak louder than words. Even a small gesture can brighten someone’s day.

Related story:
Why is kindness important? Because every life has worth. Click here to read.

Day Thirty: Give Away a Coupon

Groceries can be expensive. Next time you are at the grocery store give a coupon away. You will make someone smile.

Related story:
Sussex community kitchen empowers those living on low incomes by providing training in cooking, shopping, meal planning, budgeting, food safety and nutrition. Click here to read.

Day Thirty-One: Be Kind to Yourself

Treat yourself today. You are worthy because God created you personally and values you.

Related story:
It’s important to give yourself the love and good treatment your body and mind needs. Canadian speed skater and Olympic champion, Catriona Le May Doan, knows first-hand the gravity of preserving a sense of self and personal value. Click here to read.