Anastisiia Adelson loves her new job helping people at the Salvation Army Next Steps Resource Centre in Saanich. It’s hard to believe the smiling 27-year-old was visiting the centre in need of help herself just a few months ago.
“They help me with clothes, grocery cards and food and it was very nice and helpful for me so I’m so glad,” she said.
Adelson came to Canada from Ukraine at the end of August seeking safety but her family stayed behind. It’s been tough but she’s been grateful for the support and the fact that now she can give back to others in the same situation.
“I’m so glad because now I help people, people like me who arrived in Victoria and not know anyone and other Canadian people so now I help,” she said.
The Saanich Salvation Army says it has helped more than 500 Ukrainian families in the past six months.
“My very first person I met her mom came from Ukraine with nothing more than a toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste so for me to hear that it’s heartbreaking,” said Michelle O’Connor, Community Ministries Director for the Salvation Army’s Next Steps Resource Centre.
It’s just part of a huge increase in demand for services this year. The other is the skyrocketing cost of living due to record inflation.
“People are coming to us they’re very sad because they come in and they’re working jobs, some of them are working two and three jobs, so it’s hitting the working class,” said Major Cathy Burrows, Salvation Army Pastor/Officer.
That’s why they’re hopeful this year’s CHEK Christmas Drive Thru will be bigger and better than ever. The goal is to raise at least $75,000 and collect a massive pile of toys. They say they have no doubt Vancouver Island will come through.
“It just means a lot to me and our organization and our staff here, last year was so fun and I think this year will be even bigger and even more fun,” said O’Connor.
Adelson says she has seen that first hand.
“I want to say thank you, thank you all people who want and who help us.”
The Drive Thru will be LIVE on CHEK News Dec. 2 from 5-7 p.m. and you can drop off donations at any of our three locations:
- The Salvation Army Citadel in Saanich off Douglas and McKenzie
- The Thrifty Foods Belmont parking lot
- Steve Marshall Ford in Nanaimo
You can also: