Single Mom Finds Strength and Support Through Camp

Melanie and her youngest daughter at Moms and Tots Camp
by The Salvation Army in Canada
Categories: Divisional News

By: June Li

Seven years ago, Melanie, a single mother of three, walked into The Salvation Army Richmond Hill Community Church. What started as a trip to the food bank soon turned into something much more. “I was going to get items from the food bank,” Melanie explained, “But I accidentally walked into the Women’s Group and stayed for the session.” That session forever changed her life. “This lady welcomed me in and from that day forward I kept going back.”

Although she was receiving emotional support from the Women’s Group she still felt depressed and isolated due to her abusive relationship.

“I didn’t know where I fit in. I didn’t have a real family upbringing where I felt loved. I felt like nobody understood me and that made me feel broken.”

Someone from the Church suggested to Melanie that she should attend The Salvation Army’s Moms and Tots Camp. Little did she know that her decision to go would change the course of her life,“That first summer transformed my heart.”


Through camp, Melanie learned to love herself and along the way, she met a group of friends who not only supported her but also went through similar hardships as she did. “I met a lady who just got out of an abusive relationship and she guided me through my relationship,” she explained, “I learned that I was nowhere near alone and that no one should be silent.”

“Moms and Tots Camp is a place where we meet on equal ground, nurtured and valued by God and each other,” says Major Tina Rideout, Divisional Secretary for Women’s Ministries, “It affords an opportunity to have fun while experiencing the grace of God and the love of our new neighbour.”

Since coming to Moms and Tots Camp, Melanie gained the strength to leave her abusive partner. Today, Melanie walks with pride and self-confidence, “The love and the support people gain out of this camp are priceless.”

For more information about The Salvation Army’s Moms and Tots Camp, please contact Major Tina Rideout, Divisional Secretary for Women’s Ministries at