What We Learned On Gladys Ave

May 5, 2015

It was just a few months ago when the Jelly team spent a few amazing hours at Wagner Hills: learning about the incredible things that happen there every day and helping out where we could. Last week we had a similar experience, right here in Abbotsford, a stone’s throw from our office.

The Salvation Army Centre of Hope is a hidden gem in our city. It was our pleasure to spend some time at their facility: from the meal centre to the thrift store to the housing programs. There’s a lot going on and it’s easy to miss! Which is why we thought we’d take a minute to tell you about six things that stood out to us:

  1. The Salvation Army has a finger on the pulse of the city. Their programs reflect real needs, things that you might never think of until you’re there, talking to real people about real problems. For example, their centre is pet-friendly which allows more people to be served and get help.
  2. The commitment of their volunteers is second-to-none. 99 staff and over 200 regular volunteers make the entire operation a possibility. There are several volunteers that have been there for over a decade!
  3. The Salvation Army is both deep and wide. For example, the quantity of people they serve meals to is remarkable, but they seem to have a keen sense of quality as well (the food was delicious!
  4. Support local! Abbotsford is one of the most generous cities in Canada, and yet so often aid ends up being given outside our city. We were reminded of the importance of supporting our local community.
  5. It was encouraging to see how thankful the clients were to receive their hot food. There were a handful of people that came back after they had eaten, made eye-contact with us, and thanked us again.
  6. What’s in a name? These people have been compelled by a cause that, once you’re there in the trenches, seems so incredibly worthwhile. The name Salvation “Army” makes you think about what you’re fighting for.

Volunteering at The Salvation Army broadened our perception of those who are marginalized in Abbotsford.

Swing by and check out the Centre of Hope on Gladys Avenue in Abbotsford.

PS. Here’s a fun fact for you: All donations to and/or proceeds from the Thrift Store, go right back into their programming and vital services. Who knew?

By Eric Reynolds