Shardae's Story | The Salvation Army

Shardae's Story

Feeding Shardae’s Heart, Mind & Family.

Shardae* found herself in a situation no one ever expects to be in.

‘I was really suffering mentally with anxiety. It didn’t matter how many hours, how much effort I put into work,
I wasn’t able to earn enough to make ends meet, let alone anything else.
I hit a brick wall.’

A loving and devoted single mum to three boys, any food she could manage to put on the table went straight to her family, whilst she made do with a couple of slices of toast at best. Shardae was spiralling down into desperation, trying to put on a brave face and get through.

Always selfless, Shardae put herself on the backburner to support her family.

‘You put your kids first so that they have that sense of being important and precious to you.
That value is beyond what you might need for yourself.’


It was a caring friend who nudged her in the right direction by suggesting she visit a Salvation Army centre for support.

Thanks to the generosity of our loyal supporters, we were able to meet Shardae’s most urgent and immediate need - for food.

Something simple like that first food parcel led to Shardae using our Social Supermarket where families can ‘shop’ with dignity, choosing the items to their taste and ones that they know how to cook.

Regularly coming into the centre, Shardae was also meeting other people in a friendly and non-judgmental atmosphere, and gradually began to become part of a community.

‘Everyone is so friendly and encouraged me to use the help to build myself up.’

Feeding the body is essential, but Shardae still faced the problem of no income. Advocacy and support from her social worker was on hand to make a plan about her job and seek additional income. This was an enormous relief and source of hope for Shardae.

In the past when she’d struggled with depression and anxiety she’d depend on staying busy to cope. But that just kept her stuck in the same situation and she was losing a sense of her identity outside of being a mum. That’s until she was invited to attend our Positive Lifestyle Programme.

This eight-week group course tackles deep topics from self-awareness to problem solving and everything in between.

‘I’ve been able to stop and take some time to work on myself and look at some of the issues and past experiences that I’ve kept suppressed.
Now I can bring them out, deal with them and move forward.
Working in a group setting, I also don’t feel so alone.’

Shardae is also slowly starting to attend regular counselling which brings clarity to the layers of problems and how they can be resolved.

Shardae admits that she had no idea of the support that was available to her – or that she qualified for it. She was also surprised to find out that the Salvation Army support is ongoing and continues for as long as it’s needed.

We owe this continuation of support to the loyalty and commitment of every New Zealander who donates to help fellow Kiwis who find themselves in crisis.

Aware that the help she’s received has come from donations, Shardae says;

‘If you’ve got the means to donate, please will you do so. I’m so grateful for how it’s benefited me in so many ways.
The Salvation Army is such an amazing community offering so much support.
I don’t think people realise just how much they do here.’

This winter, we aim to not only feed hungry whānau with warm nourishing kai, but also feed hearts, minds, and families by offering wraparound support like Shardae received.

Thanks to people like you who are willing to help those who need it, Shardae’s life has been turned around and she is a stronger person for her boys and more importantly, for herself.

*Name changed to protect her privacy.


You can help other families in similar situations as Shardae by donating today.

So please, support this year's Winter Appeal using the button below to make a secure donation*


*Once you click on the button you will be taken to a new window where you can donate through our secure donation portal called Flo2Cash. If you have any questions about the security of your information please contact our supporter care team on 0800 53 00 00.