The Salvation Army is a worldwide evangelical Christian church. Here in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, they put their faith into action by offering practical help for people without discrimination, standing up for those who are vulnerable, fighting against injustice and encouraging people to deepen their relationship with God.
Henry benefitted hugely from their help. Here, you can read his story.
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In April 2020, the Salvation Army received a call about Henry. He was 59, living alone with mental health issues and shielding from the virus. When I called him for the first time, he hadn’t eaten anything other than Ryvita crackers for a few days. I immediately took him food and some homemade oatmeal cookies. This continued for a few weeks while a CAS social worker helped Henry get Government food boxes. He lived in a second-floor apartment, and when I arrived with food I had to take it upstairs for him and put it on his table. He had crutches and suffered from a physical disability, so he couldn’t see the outdoors. It was very lonely.
I started cooking hot Sunday lunches and had them delivered to up to 50 of those I was helping. Henry received these meals regularly, which meant that a volunteer could see if he was dressed, clean and feeling good. But Henry’s mental health was still poor. We set him up with additional weekly wellness calls, assigned him a support volunteer, and David, our volunteer, sometimes just visited with sweets because Henry loves Haribo! Henry now feels so much better. He continues to receive hot lunches, and David was able to help Henry move into a ground floor apartment locally. There Henry met a lovely woman who is now his fiancé, and they both have asked the Salvation Army to do their wedding reception in October 2021! Not only that – David is the Best Man at the wedding!
Henry’s story shows that good things can come from a pandemic: friendships, better mental health, a new life and a wife!