9th Annual Hope in the City Breakfast – Making a Difference One Life at a Time

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Winnipeg, MB – Each year, The Salvation Army works diligently to make a difference in our community, one life at a time. Through programs and services that reach out to individuals and families going through tough times, The Salvation Army understands the toll income loss, emergencies and disaster take on people. During the 9th Annual Hope in the City Breakfast, guests were introduced to some of the programs of The Salvation Army that help individuals overcome life and soul destroying addictions, feed and house those without shelter, support those suffering loss of all types and provide people in our community with a place to belong. The Salvation Army is privileged to walk with people regardless of who they are and what they need.

Special keynote speaker for the 9th Annual Hope in the city Breakfast, David Allan, put his experience of being helped by The Salvation Army this way, “The Salvation Army loved me when no one else could.” David, a graduate of The Salvation Army’s Booth Centre Anchorage Addictions program, shared his story of loss, tragedy, struggle, strength and hope with the nearly 400 guests at the breakfast.

“Having grown up in a suburb all my life and finding myself on the streets of Winnipeg, I was terrified,” David explained.

Like many others in similar situations, his story spoke to the changing face of homelessness. Many people in our community are just an unfortunate circumstance away from finding themselves without a home.  A loss in income, struggles with mental health or a move to a different city for employment are some of the challenges that can lead to someone finding themselves without a home or shelter.

After sharing his story, David, who is also a former concert pianist, performed an original song he wrote.  At the conclusion of his keynote address and performance, he received a thunderous standing ovation from all present. There were many teary eyes in the audience as people realized how cruel the twists of life can be and the perseverance of the human spirit to overcome them. This year’s Hope in the City Breakfast emphasized this fact that it is possible to make a difference in our community one life at a time.

“David’s story helped me to move beyond just hearing about the work of The Salvation Army to actually seeing just how my support is helping someone just like him.  Someone who could easily be my friend, family member or co-worker,” said one guest.

Hope in the CityThe breakfast was hosted by CTV Winnipeg News Anchors, Maralee Caruso and Gord Leclerc. They shared their excitement over Bell Media’s partnership with The Salvation Army to put a smile on a child’s face this Christmas the Toy Mountain Campaign.

This year’s Toy Mountain Campaign was launched with a $25,000 donation by Scotiabank, a long-time partner of The Salvation Army’s annual toy campaign. Members of the public were invited to bring a new unwrapped toy or cash donation to any Winnipeg Scotiabank, Fire Station, Police Station or Salvation Army location.  Guests were also invited to be a part of the MTS Centre Christmas Party at the Skywalk above Graham Avenue taking place all day on December 12.  Fans of the Winnipeg Jets were also invited to support Toy Mountain by bringing a donation to the Winnipeg Jets Game taking place that night. The Salvation Army Christmas Brass Band will also be performing the national anthems with Jets Anthem Singer Stacey Nattress prior to the game.

Another important campaign, The Salvation Army’s annual Christmas Kettle Campaign, was also kicked off during the breakfast by Premier Greg Selinger. This year’s Christmas Kettle Campaign is $350,000.  Funds raised during the Christmas Kettle season will go directly to assisting individuals and families in need through the programs and services The Salvation Army offers year-round. MP Lawrence Toet also addressed guests on behalf of Minister Candice Bergen, encouraging them to support the efforts of The Salvation Army and outlined how the federal government supports and works with agencies like The Salvation Army to implement strategies that reduce the impact of poverty in our local communities.

This year’s breakfast was an exciting and resounding success.  Guests and supporters were given an up close and personal encounter with the impact and reach The Salvation Army is providing to Winnipeg. Guests learned how their support is giving hope and restoring dignity to individuals and families right here in Winnipeg.

At the conclusion of the event, The Salvation Army received comments such as “The breakfast speaker has inspired me to do more” and inquiries of how they and their business can become more involved in the life changing work of The Salvation Army.

“I am thrilled by the response of the community,” exclaims Tsungai Muvingi, Special Events Coordinator for The Salvation Army Prairie Division. “After the event we received a $5000 donation for a business that was impressed by the story of David and the work The Salvation Army is doing in the lives of people like him.  With the support of our community for The Salvation Army, more and more stories like David’s will become a reality.”

If you would like to support success stories like this and wish to make a life changing difference in your community, please donate at any Christmas Kettle, Toy Mountain location, online at www.FilltheKettle.ca or by calling 1.800.Sal.Army.