Salvation Army Social Workers Offer Hand-Up to Maritimers in Need

by Maritime
Categories: 2021, News Archive

National Social Work Month, observed throughout March, uplifts the social workers of our country, and celebrates their constant contributions to our society. These professionals use psychology and sociology to solve social issues and improve individual lives.

Many Salvation Army locations in the Maritimes offer various types of social services; while not all are trained specifically as social workers, there are many who are employed in the field. Natasha Burkett, director of community and family services in Moncton, is engaged in this field, overseeing the programs and services.

“Recognizing that many days are challenging, it’s also rewarding,” says Natasha. “In this ministry setting there are opportunities to make a difference daily.”

A typical day begins with breakfast and connecting with vulnerable people from the community. The needs vary from practical, emotional, and spiritual, many compounded with mental health concerns.

“With the public health restrictions now in place, meeting the needs has become increasingly more difficult,” she explains.

Among the regular requests for practical support, many families are reaching out for the first time. The pandemic has caused many people to suffer job losses, financial and marital struggles, childcare issues, and even death resulting from the virus.

Much is said when compassion is exhibited, offering a listening ear to those who avail of such services. Natasha and her team have the wherewithal to go the extra mile by connecting families with other resources, assisting with food so that a child can have a lunch to take to school, and assisting with resumes so that a father can search for employment, and more.

One family who received support wanted to give back. “As an expression of gratitude, they wanted to provide support by volunteering to help sort food donations,” says Natasha. “The gentleman also organized a food donation drive at his place of employment to help contribute to our pantry and assist other families.”

March might be the month that awareness is raised on the work, but the need is there all year. “Meeting needs can be challenging and we are finding creative ways to meet them, but the time spent is meaningful,” she explains. “It’s a beautiful way to begin each day.”


By: Jan Keats