The Christmas Hamper

A woman smiling at the camera holding various toys she received as a gift from The Salvation Army
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As a single parent living in poverty, Christmas is a challenging time for Becky. “Many people don’t know what it’s like to tell your children they have to go to bed hungry,” says Becky. “Or watch them cry as Christmas approaches because there are no presents under the tree.”

Becky’s story

Becky had worked in Corporate America before moving to Canada to marry the man of her dreams. But creating the ideal life for herself and her children became a nightmare when she discovered that her husband was abusing their children.

“I was a stay-at-home mother,” says Becky. “My husband had a good job and we never went without or struggled to provide for our children. Then, when he was arrested for child abuse, the rug was pulled out from under us.”

Left to raise the children on her own, Becky was suddenly on social assistance, struggling to make ends meet.

“I didn’t know how I was going to pay for rent or food,” says Becky. “I thought we’d have to live in a shelter and sell everything we owned.”

With help from a good social worker, Becky was able to secure housing. But when the rent increased, she had no choice but to move to something more affordable.

The Gift of Christmas

“It was a painful time for us,” says Becky. “If I bought Christmas presents for the children, I couldn’t buy food. It was horrible. Then I received a phone call from The Salvation Army offering Christmas help. I was overwhelmed.”

A hamper with fixings for a Christmas dinner and a big box of toys was delivered to Becky’s home.

“I felt like I’d just won the lottery for my children,” says Becky. “I sat on the couch and cried for hours. My kids would have a Christmas. I couldn’t have said that the day before.”

This Christmas, through The Salvation Army in Winnipeg, Becky’s family has been adopted by a group of generous donors who have sponsored her family.

“My children always worry at Christmas that no one is going to love them,” says Becky. “To have The Salvation Army and a group of people see us as special enough to devote their time and gifts to us makes me choke up.

“Before The Salvation Army I was scared. Now I’m taken care of, loved and feel safe. I’ve been sponsored to go to nursing school in the New Year and when I get back to the workforce one of my first calls will be to The salvation Army to say, ‘I want to adopt a family at Christmas.‘”