Mark Comes Full Circle
‘Life has never been easy, even when I was growing up.
Along the way it’s always been good people who have helped me along. One was my Sunday School teacher when I was about 8 years old. She took me under her wing with kindness and just being there for me.
When I was married things continued to be difficult. Both my wife and I had mental health issues. And it’s always been The Salvation Army that’s put its hand up to help with some counselling. That was also during a time when I was hungry and didn’t have clothes to put on my back.
If it wasn’t for The Salvation Army, I don’t think I’d still be here. They’re the only ones who’ve stood by me in dark times and never judged.
It’s not only the advice they give and the counselling, but also the necessities of life to help you keep going.
A spinal injury meant that I couldn’t work for a long time, and it’s degrading to have to ask. It’s not so bad if you’re not hungry and you can’t pay your bills, but being hungry and seeing your kids hungry makes everything worse.
The most recent thing that’s happened is that I got a call from someone who looks after some Salvation Army properties, and he asked me if I wanted to do some work.
It really came at the right moment because when you’re on the benefit and getting to eat maybe three times a week, the rest of the days you survive on a piece of bread or a couple of Weetbix.
Now that I have this regular work, I feel like a millionaire. I can put food on the table seven days of the week. My rent’s up to date. My power’s up to date. I’m standing on my own two feet. And it’s only through the Salvation Army and their supporters that I got from where I was to where I am now.
If The Salvation Army says they’ll help you, they’re true to their word all the way through. And for them it doesn’t matter what walk of life you’re from – everyone is invited through their door, everyone.
Then there are those good people who donate to The Salvation Army – whether it’s money, food, or other items. I call them ‘the silent partners in generosity’. And I hope they know how many big differences their kindness makes.
What I would say to them is thank you, because someone in real need is gonna be very, very grateful. You may not know it, but that cup of coffee or warm blanket can mean the world to someone.
Without The Salvation Army there’d be so much more suffering in the world.
My hope is that people will always support The Salvation Army as much as they can, and so help their fellow New Zealanders who are going through hard times.
You are one step away from providing budgeting to another Kiwi like Mark who really needs it.