WFW: Alms For the Poor *ring ring*

December 15, 2010

WFW

When I was in need, they helped me. I am very grateful to the Salvation Army.

When I was 18 years old, a country girl living out in the wild boonies of Upstate New York, I had big dreams after I graduated from high school. I went to live in Manhattan to go to an illustrious acting school. I had never been to the city, and I knew absolutely NO ONE, and the school has no dormitories; I would be on my own. But my high school friend’s mother took pity on me. She drove me to the city to show me around town, gave some tips about the city, put $20 in my hand, and directed me to a safe residence to spend the year. God bless that woman. The safe place was a women’s residence on Lexington Ave– the Salvation Army Home for Women (since been torn down).

American Academy of Dramatic Arts

The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan.

While my other acting school peers were staying in really seedy hostels (like the west side YMCA, which housed junkies and students alike) or spending scads of money on apartments, I had a nice, affordable room in the residence. I was the youngest woman there, and the only acting student– the place was filled with older women who were too healthy for a nursing home but too troublesome to live with their adult children in their homes. I made friends with two ladies– one, a wonderful young woman named Debbie who worked for Christie’s Auction and also worked part-time as a PR agent for the Russian Ballet Company (she knew Russian), and Mabel, a doughy, 70-year old woman who dressed like Edith Bunker (saggy support hose and all). Mabel used to tell me the craziest stories! She grew up in the Bronx (if I recall correctly– all the boroughs sounded the same to a newbie like me); her mother rented rooms, and her most famous boarder was Barbra Streisand and her husband Elliot Gould. Mabel said that Barbra had weird habits– she had a freezer placed under her bed so that she could snack on ice cream in the middle of the night without getting up. lol

Apartmt

Looking east outside my Lexington St apartment window.

The Salvation Army residence held “vespers” which were church services, I guess. I only attended one. They also had “entertainment night” for the ladies, which usually involved one of the staff or ladies playing an instrument. A popular pastime for the older ladies was watching TV on a huge screen in the large sitting room. How those geriatrics endured sitting on those rickety metal chairs for hours baffled me. But I guess they’d do anything to watch Knight Rider and Dallas.

Anyway, I comfortably lived in that place for a year, safe and sound. The residence had a security guard, and NO men were allowed beyond the lobby. I appreciate the generosity of the SA for helping me while I stayed in Manhattan. That year was not wasted, either, even though I never followed through with the thespian life– I eventually entered radio (and loved it!) and after becoming a mom, have become a professional blogger — delving into social media, communications, freelance writing and seo services. I have drawn from my early years, learning to speak well and communicate well, for the life career I have now. God is good.

The SA has also helped us when we were in need, too. My husband has been through a lot of job changes, and seen some companies fold up their tents and move out of the state (we live in New York State). There were times when we had no food– the SA helped fill our pantry again. I will always be grateful for them for helping us out in time of need. They even got Christmas presents for the kids a few times. God bless them.

As a young Christian, I donated my time as a bell ringer one season. Back then, we did it in pairs, and boy was it fun! It was so cold, but fun. People were pretty generous, too. Today, people are feeling the economic pinch, and I can’t say I blame them. But please consider giving something to those in need. The Salvation Army has a history of helping people around the world. It doesn’t take much, either. Maybe you can skip that bottle of wine for Christmas, or wear an old pair of shoes to the New Year’s party, or skip that seo subscription for a month or something. Even an amount as small as $10 is a lot to a hungry family. Believe me, I know.

My friend Rena has created a virtual online kettle fund for her local area. I’m going to join it, too! Please consider donating to our little kettle. Even ONE DOLLAR is good. Your transactions are secure, through the Salvation Army site (we do not see any of your transaction at all).

Personal fundraising widget for 2010 Red Kettle campaign

Our desire is not that others might be [financially] relieved while you are hard-pressed and in need, but that there might be equality. When you have plenty and can give, your plenty will supply what they need, and when they are experiencing times of plenty, they will give to you when you are in need. The purpose is to make sure everyone’s needs are met, as it is written: โ€œThe one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.โ€ 2 Corinthians 8:13-15

5 Responses to “WFW: Alms For the Poor *ring ring*”

  1. lin Says:

    I hear they are low this year. Their biggest fundraising time of year is now, although they help people all year long. Reminds me that I need to make a donation.

    Cool story! Who knew???!

  2. Carole Says:

    Absolutely fascinating post. I loved to hear your actual experiences with them – it makes it personal and real. I’ve always thought they were a wonderful organization, and even moreso now after reading your story. The link to Rena’s page isn’t working, but I clicked on “go to blog’s homepage” and scrolled down a little and found the post – it’s here: http://psalm55-22.blogspot.com/2010/12/i-am-virtual-salvation-army-bell-ringer.html

  3. Rena Says:

    Awesome post!!!

  4. Rena Says:

    aaack!! The link isn’t working. Unless its my computer?

    • Rebecca Says:

      UGH UGH sorry about the link problem. It’s working. The “l” from the “html” at the end of the link was missing. ๐Ÿ˜›

      Thanks for donating!!!