Michelle is paying it forward

by Maritime
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A recent move to the Maritimes from British Columbia brought back a flood of memories treasured by Michelle of the support she has received from The Salvation Army over the years of her life.

“The Salvation Army has helped me immensely; their support never discriminates and it is always unconditional,” says Michelle.

At the young age of 15, Michelle shares her first experience receiving support from The Salvation Army. Pregnant, lost and unsure of where to go, a Salvation Army Officer connected her to an aunt, provided a bus ticket and a food voucher, sending her to safety. From that moment on, she has always paid it forward with acts of kindness toward others.

While working in property management, Michelle observed many of her tenants working low paying jobs and going to work each day even while sick in order to pay the bills and put food on their tables. Michelle quickly stepped into action using her work bonus to cover a month of rent for tenants in need and she also slipped vouchers under tenant’s doors to help them pay for food. She says she’s been doing these types of pay it forward offerings since she received help in her time of most need from The Salvation Army.

After the passing of her husband of 15 years just three years ago, Michelle found herself in a difficult financial situation. While she was still living in Victoria, BC, The Salvation Army recognized her life circumstances and offered to help.

“Just one day after The Salvation Army learned of my circumstances, a food hamper arrived at my door,” says Michelle. “This was the first time I had eaten a proper meal in four months; I was so grateful.”

Since moving to Sussex, New Brunswick in August, Michelle has followed her strong desire to volunteer and pay it forward. Again, The Salvation Army was there. She gladly offered to help with the Christmas Kettle Campaign and in any other areas needed. Michelle recently donated six bags of Christmas gifts for teens including gift cards for bowling and she has also adopted a family for Christmas sharing many gifts and food for a family of five. Because gift giving is her love language, this is all Michelle needs for Christmas to make it memorable and full of love.

“The joy you receive from giving is contagious and anyone can give of themselves whether it’s caring for a neighbour or buying a meal for someone,” says Michelle. “The Salvation Army is not just here at Christmas time; they will listen to a person’s needs and are always here to help and offer guidance.”

Today, Michelle makes sacrifices and manages her finances in such a way that she can give; she has already started saving so that she can support families next year at Christmas. She says, “You can’t out give God.”