COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus) developed quickly and The Salvation Army, while protecting the 1.6 million people it serves each year as well as its pastors, employees, and volunteers, continues to stand by its communities to bring help and hope.
“The spread of the virus will have a long-term impact on people’s well being,” says Commissioner Floyd J. Tidd, national leader of The Salvation Army. “We are grateful to our front-line workers who enable us to provide our essential services and further support Canada’s most vulnerable,”
As a national charitable organization that employs more than 10,000 people in over 400 communities across the country, The Salvation Army is Canada’s largest non-governmental provider of social services. Like many other charities, The Salvation Army has taken unprecedented measures to limit exposure to the coronavirus.
“We are keeping a close watch on this fluid situation,” says Lt-Colonel John P. Murray, spokesperson for The Salvation Army. “Decisions may need to change as circumstances and health directives evolve. As we navigate these challenging times, we are guided by our mission, our values and evidence-based information published by local health authorities and the Public Health Agency of Canada.”
- In The Salvation Army’s more than 180 community and family services offices, social distancing measures are in place. Feeding programs and food banks are altering the way they serve. From soup kitchens that operate as take-out only to mobile feeding units handing out bags of food, the Army is ensuring that no one goes hungry.
- All thrift stores and donor welcome centres across Canada are closed to the public. While the Army is temporarily unable to accept material donations, donors are asked to set them aside until thrift stores can safely reopen. The need for affordable clothing and household items will be very high in the days ahead. Meanwhile, thrift stores will continue to support crisis needs of our community and family services operations.
- In emergency shelters and traditional housing settings, meals are brought to rooms. Staff are provided with personal protective equipment (PPE), which is disposed of after each visit.
- Our long-term care facilities are following strict visitation protocols, working in partnership with local health authorities.
Coming to a new country, I am grateful for people who want to help. Thank you.Azhad
Commissioner Tidd says, “We are committed to provide much-needed support to the most vulnerable people in our communities and the growing number of Canadians affected by the COVID-19 virus.”
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is an international Christian organization that began its work in Canada in 1882 and has grown to become one of the largest direct providers of social services in the country. The Salvation Army gives hope and support to vulnerable people in 400 communities across Canada and in more than 130 countries around the world. Its community and social service activities include: hunger relief for individuals and families through food banks and feeding programs; shelter for people experiencing homelessness and support for those needing housing; rehabilitation for those struggling with addiction; long-term care and palliative care; Christmas assistance such as food hampers and toys; after-school programs, camps, and school nutrition programs for children and youth; and life-skills classes such as budgeting, cooking for a family, and anger management. When you give to The Salvation Army, you are investing in the future of marginalized and overlooked people in your community.