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Local Charity Exceeds Goal

The Salvation Army’s Christmas Kettle Campaign managed to hit provincial and national fundraising targets this year, raising$4.16 million and $23.5 respectively.

In Abbotsford we raised just over $121,000, which will stay right here to help the community–an increase over 2018 of approximately $20,000.

Due to the high cost of living in British Columbia, more people than ever are living at or below the poverty line. Across Canada one in seven struggle to make ends meet. The annual Christmas campaign depends on this critical time of year to supply funding for programs and services to help these people, especially those in our community.

“Funds raised during the campaign stay local to help feed, clothe and shelter some of our most vulnerable citizens,” says spokesperson Kim Hissink, Fundraising Coordinator

“In many cases we are dealing with our most vulnerable citizens, many of whom are living in crisis.These funds will have a direct and meaningful impact on the lives of the individuals and families we serve. And it is because of our community and volunteers … thank you.”

Each year, the Army relies on numerous corporate partners, including Walmart Canada, Loblaw Companies Limited, Costco, BC Liquor Stores, Canadian Tire, Save-on-Foods, Sobeys and many more, who generously allow Christmas kettles to be placed at their stores.

Although Christmas is over, The Salvation Army continues to assist vulnerable people every day of the year. Over 1.7 million people were helped last year and we expect this number to increase in 2020.

To make a financial contribution for the Abbotsford / Mission area, or to volunteer your time, please visit www.centreofhope.net or call 604.852.9305.

“Gloria’s” Story – Restoration * Hope for the Future * Healing

Many of the women we see in the shelter are victims of abuse, sex trafficking and exploitation. We are committed to providing assistance, compassion, and a holistic approach, so they can begin to heal.

A shelter staff member, “Gloria” experienced hardship on the streets with addiction and homelessness. She shares with the women that they are God’s beautiful works of art and that they have value. She sees parts of herself in so many of them, and it breaks her heart because she remembers how terribly painful it was to be in their position. Many people showed her kindness along the way -she wasn’t always able to accept it -but she never forgot them.

Gloria’s wounds are being healed as she takes care of others. The idea of preserving her own dignity was foreign to her. She sees that in a lot of the women at the shelter and she follows the example of those who treated her as though her dignity meant something even though she didn’t believe it.

Gloria feels very motherly towards the women in the shelter, no matter what their age. In her addictions she didn’t mature at all, and it wasn’t until she began to walk with God at the age of 52 that she started to grow up.

Gloria shares -“When I wash and fold their laundry, I’m always mindful of a moment in my old life when a nurse handed me a change of clothes after a traumatic experience.” The clothes were folded, and something about this motherly touch broke through all the barriers she had up, for just a moment, and she felt somehow comforted. Gloria is now paying that forward when she folds the residents’ laundry.

Welcome to Corps Officers & Pastors – Ruth and Ian Gillingham

Ian and Ruth are not new to British Columbia as Ian grew up on the North Shore of Vancouver and Ruth was born just down the road at Murrayville.

Their paths crossed when Ruth’s parents, who were Salvation Army officers, were appointed to work in Vancouver at The Salvation Army Men’s Social Services. On her first Sunday attending Cariboo Hill Temple Corps, Ian was door greeting and welcomed Ruth back to BC. Soon they were dating and 31 years later they are appointed as officers to Cascade Community Ministry in beautiful Abbotsford. The Ministry includes Cascade Community Church and the Centre of Hope.

They have been blessed by God with five children, Derek (26), Caitlyn (22), Jacob (20), Hannah (18), and Jeremiah (13) and lots of adventure. Every child has been born in a different city or town. All are presently residing in Toronto and Pine Lake, Alberta, with plans to be living in 5 different communities in Canada and the U.S. this September.

For the last four years Ian and Ruth were in the role of Divisional Youth Secretary’s (DYS) in Alberta and Northern Territories. That position oversees the children and youth work of The Salvation Army throughout Alberta and the Northern Territories as well as the summer camping ministry which provides economically challenged families the opportunity to send their children to camp for a week. In addition to responsibilities as a DYS, Ian was the Divisional Candidates Secretary (officer recruitment) and Ruth was an Area Commander for the AB & NT Division.

Prior to this appointment with youth and children, both Ian and Ruth have had experience in various Salvation Army ministry contexts, from being an assistant administrator for a youth corrections facility in Nanaimo to the Executive Director of the Northwest Territories Resource Centre and Bailey House (transitional housing) to overseeing chaplaincy at a Provincial Detention Centre, planting a missional church in the downtown eastside of Vancouver, outreach work to marginalized women at risk, and being pastors in a number of different communities. These diverse opportunities have served to foster a deep care for people and a conviction that the good news of Jesus Christ offers hope to all that transcends any circumstance of life.

Ian and Ruth come with a desire to enter into the vibrant community of Abbotsford and partner together with those who are already at work serving to build the community of God here on earth.

A Good News Story of Compassion and Caring

This is how God provides every day at The Salvation Army’s – Centre of Hope.

A single mom came in to follow up with us about camp last week – she was not asking for anything for herself. Rose – noticed her shoes were worn and went into the family pantry and brought her a gently used pair of Nike runners that had been donated by our community partners the Running Room.

She was completely overwhelmed and grateful.

This is why we do what we do every day – Praise the Lord.

The Salvation Army Removes a Barrier to Shelter and Moves Forward with Pet Friendly Shelter

Every day at The Salvation Army we offer hope, compassion and practical support to those individuals who come to us for assistance in the midst of life’s most challenging circumstances.

In an effort to serve our people most effectively, we strive to identify gaps in services and the barriers that stand in the way of them gaining access to the vital resources they need.

One such barrier we identified at The Centre of Hope was that an individual without a home could not stay in our Shelter if they had a pet that they couldn’t part with. For some, their animal or pet is the only connection they have with another living being and you shouldn’t have to give them up so you can sleep indoors. While the concept of animals in our building presented many challenges, we are moving forward with a ‘Pet Friendly’ model of Shelter with the gracious support of our local SPCA office, Dr. Kelly O’Blenis, Hero Doghouses, Buckerfield’s and other businesses. If you have any further questions in regard to this program, or you would like to partner with us or make a donation to this effort, please call The Centre of Hope at 604-852-9305.

How We Fight Today!

At our location on Gladys Avenue in Abbotsford, British Columbia, we are hard at work endeavouring to help the poor, the homeless, the addicted, the hungry, the lonely, and the forgotten – people who are experiencing challenges with the basic necessities of daily living in our city.

We make it our concern to feed them, care for them, and help them find the path to wholeness. As you explore our various ministries through these pages, you will discover what we do and why we are so passionate about our work. You may even find ways you want to get involved and make a difference in our community.

For more information please contact The Centre of Hope at 604-852-9305.

The Salvation Army Camp Sunrise; where lifelong friendships are discovered.

Each Summer we offer the opportunity for dozens of community children to attend a fun filled week of adventure at Summer Camp! The Salvation Army Camp Sunrise is an amazing place filled with a fantastic, compassionate staff who provide delicious, nutritious meals, wonderful adventures and opportunities such as team building exercises, leadership training, confidence building, and the chance to discover life-long friendships. For many kids, a week at camp is a life changing experience that will equip them with valuable life skills.

On behalf of the families we serve, The Salvation Army wishes to thank this year’s sponsors for making this wonderful opportunity available to 50 great kids in our community!

Thank you FraserWay RV. Thank you Abbotsford Community Foundation. Thank you Kiwanis Club of Clearbrook.