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Hope, Service, and Dignity When it’s Needed Most

July 30, 2021

“I know I’m not working for just a company, I’m working for my community.

– Sonya

On a cold, snowy day in Newfoundland in June, an individual walked into Kenmount Salvation Army Thrift Store in Newfoundland. When he approached Sonya, Floor Supervisor, asking for a spare pair of winter boots she immediately recognized that he needed help.

“His boots were soaking wet and I then I noticed that his socks were too and I said ‘of course’,” says Sonya. “After talking with him he shared that his parents had just kicked him out for being gay, and he said he hadn’t eaten in a few days. He was asking for suggestions on where he could go. It was about 7 p.m. and I just started calling places.”

Sonya reached the Tommy Sexton Shelter, a local short-term accommodation facility in St. John’s, which welcomed the young man but was unable to provide pick-up services due to COVID-19 restrictions at the time. Instead, Sonya provided him with bottled water, a fresh deli lunch from the staff room fridge, and money to cover the bus route to get to the shelter.

A Floor Supervisor with The Salvation Army Thrift Store for seven years, what Sonya loves most about working with the organization is that she knows the nature of her job is to give back just like this.

“We’re always told, if there is someone who needs something, help them,” said Sonya. “That’s what we’re here for. We are really touching people in our community. Sometimes people who have not experienced much kindness in their life. That’s something my store manager talks about, if we encounter a person being mean or rude, you don’t know what’s going on with them and your act of kindness can mean everything.”

As Wendy, Kenmount Store Manager, says: “We may never know this young man’s fate but at least he found kindness and grace in our store at an obviously very tough time in his life.”

Thank you to everyone in our community who helps us care for neighbours in need and make stories like this possible. To learn more about how we are building stronger communities together, read our 2019-2020 Annual Report.