Salvation Army Brings Christmas to Newcomer Children

Salvation Army Brings Christmas to Newcomer Children
by Ontario Central East
Categories: Divisional News, Newswire
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For years, Bernadette woke up on Christmas day without her children. Recently reunited, and with help from The Salvation Army, she is overcoming the struggles of life and giving her family a Christmas to remember.

“Thanks to The Salvation Army there will be toys under the tree and fixings for a Christmas dinner,” says Bernadette. “That will surprise the children. I know they will be happy.”

Bernadette recieves toys to give her family a Christmas to remember

Bernadette receives toys to give her family a Christmas to remember

An immigrant from the Grenadine Islands, Bernadette’s transition to Canada for a better life has been anything but easy. It took a long time for everything to be put into place to have her children join her. Meanwhile, abuse and separation left her in a bad state.

“My husband was abusive, we separated and I was suddenly a single-parent,” says Bernadette. “I couldn’t afford to put food on the table, was unmotivated, lonely and isolated. Then I started volunteering at The Salvation Army in Oshawa, Ont.

“Volunteering at the food bank helped me mentally, emotionally and physically and spiritually. The Salvation Army provided me with food items to feed my small family and counselling services that helped me stay positive and motivated to bring my other children to Canada for new opportunities.”

With strength, guidance and support from The Salvation Army, Bernadette enrolled in college to become a personal support worker. She also earned a Development Services Worker diploma and is currently employed in home care.

“There are 10 of us living in a three-bedroom house, so I budget carefully,” says Bernadette. “The help I receive from The Salvation Army, such as clothes, food and Christmas assistance makes life easier.

“The Salvation Army is my family―loving, supportive, caring and concerned. I will be thankful to them for the rest of my life.”