Marnie and her faithful companion, Sofey, have hope because of your generosity.

Marnie and her faithful companion, Sofey, have hope because of your generosity.

Iconic Red Kettles helping people in the Comox Valley

TheSalvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign is one of the largest and most recognizable annual charitable event in our community. The Kettle campaign plays a vital role in raising funds for programs, including hampers and gifts for children at Christmas, but it also supports programs vital to helping people break the cycle of crisis and vulnerability… people like Marnie.

When Marnie was only 11 years old, her family home burnt down in a terrible fire. Her father suffered from burns and their family lost everything … throughout her life she suffered more setbacks.

Marnie had issues finding a safe place to live; she’s been physically assaulted and lived in such poor conditions that exposure to mould and heavy metals led to poisoning and the loss of one of her dogs. Marnie suffers from fibromyalgia yet continues to provide care for her 90-year-old mother and her 15-year-old dog Sofey.

She has been dealing with these issues for the last 11 years. “It rips your self-esteem … no one believed me when I got sick,” she shares, recalling the struggles of getting diagnosed. Eventually, the hospital directed her to the Salvation Army shelter where she discovered the Pathway of Hope program.

Pathway of Hope focuses on identifying and addressing root-cause issues for people living in poverty. It’s a high-impact, strengths-based, case-management approach for people with a desire to break the cycle of crisis and vulnerability.

The Salvation Army in the Comox Valley is one of the first locations in BC to try this program and they have seen great success with Marnie. We come alongside them, with their vision and their ideas. It comes from within and we support that,” says Captain Michelle Elsasser.

Since joining the program, Marnie has access to the on-site, registered-clinical counsellor and she is beginning to thrive. Her counsellor works closely with her to achieve her goals and she believes that, if she continues to use the things she’s learned through the program, on day, Marnie will live an independent and healthy lifestyle — and no one is happier than Marnie. Kirstin Dolby.

If not for The Salvation Army, Marnie says that she would “probably be living in some other hellhole.” She shares her appreciation for supporters of The Salvation Army, letting people know that, “it works, the program works. They really give you the opportunity to invest in your future and I am so grateful.”

How can you help this Christmas Season?

  • Sponsor a Christmas Hamper for a family in need —Gift cards, cash donations accepted. Call 250-338-6200.
  • Volunteer for a Kettle shift —A fun, rewarding way to help your community and raise important funds. Register at today or call 250-338-6200.
  • Donate to a Kettle —With precautions in place, safely use debit, credit, cash, change or cheque.

To learn more about how you can support The Salvation Army click here. Find them on Facebook here.

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