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The true joy of Christmas is the joy you can give to other people

It will mean so much to us if you can send a donation to make Christmas a new beginning for someone like Jack. 

Since I have moved here I’ve enjoyed every day.’


Jack truly is the salt of the earth. All his life he has served his country and cared for others. In his young days he served in the British Army, helping to keep the peace in Northern Ireland and seeing action in the Falklands War. Later he worked as a care assistant, looking after people with mental health problems including dementia. But life has not always been kind to Jack.

First his beloved wife died of cancer. Then he had to nurse his parents through painful and distressing illnesses. Finally, the house he rented was sold by his landlord and he was told he had to get out. The terrible experience of seeing his family suffer, combined with the stress of knowing that he was days away from being homeless, led to him suffering a stroke which affected his speech and movement.

When Jack was discharged from hospital four months ago, the council referred him to a Salvation Army residential centre for people experiencing homelessness. He was broken-hearted and dejected when he came to us, a shadow of the proud man he had been. But that soon changed.    

We didn’t just give Jack a roof over his head. We gave him the faithful friendship he needed, helping him regain the self-respect he had lost when his home was taken away from him. We helped him stay active in order to regain his strength after the stroke. Above all, we helped him find a new sense of purpose in his life by encouraging him to get involved in the life of the centre.

Jack is always willing to volunteer when something needs doing. He does a daily litter pick in the park next door. He delights in making the teas for the older people’s club that meets at the centre. Jack has been overwhelmed by the kindness of Captain Daniel, the centre manager, and his team of staff and volunteers. They have made Jack feel loved again, even remembering his birthday with a card and a present.

‘It’s the first time I’ve had a birthday card since my dear wife died,’ he told us with genuine astonishment.

Jack is already looking forward to Christmas at The Salvation Army – and you can be sure he will be the first to volunteer when we start putting up decorations and preparing our Christmas lunch. He will eventually move on into a new flat of his own – but The Salvation Army will always be his friend and our door will always be open to him.

At Christmas and all year round, we give people who are desperate or lonely the best gift of all – a fresh start in life. They are all part of our family. And so are you. It’s your generosity that makes our work possible.

£19 could provide a box filled with food and modest gifts for a family in need.

£45 could provide support and advice for five homeless people in one of our centres.

£112 could provide dinner and companionship for 20 lonely older people.

Please make a donation to our Christmas appeal today using our simple, secure online donation form. Alternatively you can call us on 020 7367 4800, email us on or download our postal form below. 


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Thanks to you...

92p of every £1

Your giving transforms lives in the communities where we work

1579 families reunited

Our Family Tracing Service accepted 1874 new search requests during 2015

14742 parents & children

Are able to thrive in a safe and supportive environment every week