CHEK Drive Thru 2023: Woman who survived on Salvation Army donations, now gives back

CHEK Drive Thru 2023: Woman who survived on Salvation Army donations, now gives back
Kelley Sherin used to be a recipient of help from the Salvation Army, and now she's in a position to give back.

CHEK’s Christmas Drive-Thru will take place this Friday, Dec. 1 where we’ll be accepting donations in support of  Vancouver Island families from Nanaimo to the West Shore and Victoria.

It’s been a tradition of ours for three decades now, bringing toys, non-perishable foods and cash donations to the families in our communities who need it most, like Kelley Sherin who through the Salvation Army found help and hope.

“Before taking on Jordan, I’d never had financial troubles. So I’d never understood what it meant to be poor, other than student poor but you do survive. But to have a child that you have to provide for, that was extremely difficult and stressful to make ends meet,” said Sherin.

In 2021, after taking in her nephew Jordan who has diverse abilities and making the move to Victoria, Sherin quickly found herself burning through her savings, unable to provide food for the both of them.

“They gave me vouchers for food, vouchers for clothing. They opened me with welcome arms,” said Sherin, referring to the Salvation Army.

After accepting the Salvation Army’s help for a year and a half, she’s now in a position to give.

“I feel grateful. I feel grateful that I have that ability to be able to help families out there that need it,” said Sherin.

Working now as a Salvation Army volunteer, Sherin is a single mom who directly knows the benefits of things like CHEK’s annual Christmas Drive Thru which is in partnership with the Salvation Army.

“The kids smile, the kids laugh. To me that’s where the parents get the joy,” said Sherin.

The power of giving is deeply understood by those at Garden City Tree and Landscape, as regular donors to the Drive Thru.

“Everyone is impacted right now, with financial challenges. For me, I have young kids, and it would just be devastating me if I couldn’t give them anything for Christmas,” said Chris Stanfield, founder of Garden City Tree and Landscape.

“We’re just trying to do our part in supporting people that are going through a tough spell. And those kids are going to be impacted for the better, and hopefully, they’ll be able to pass it on.”

Passing it on, much like Sherin is now.

“To bring a little bit more security. To you know give the ability not to be worried that day. Even if it’s just for a day, sometimes it just helps take the edge off,” said Sherin, who says she’ll now be a Salvation Army volunteer for life.

Join us to donate during our live event this Friday, Dec. 1 between 5-7 p.m. at our three locations, by phone, or anytime online.

“Any donation small or large makes such a difference for us,” said Michelle O’Connor, community resource centre coordinator for Salvation Army Victoria.


Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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