Bonnie was struggling to make it on her own, but she was determined to rebuild her life and find happiness again after a difficult divorce. She was trying to handle both the emotional pain of a failed marriage and the physical pain of a serious, life-long back problem that had only grown worse with the years. Bonnie’s children were no longer at home and were off raising families of their own, but it simply wasn’t in her nature to become a burden to anyone, so she lived in a small trailer and supported herself. She was surviving on a tight budget, but living from paycheck to paycheck meant that even a small setback could be devastating. When Bonnie’s landlord informed her that she was falling behind on rent, she knew her time of going at it alone had come to an end.

The Salvation Army’s Service Extension serves residents in almost 60 Indiana counties, including Martin County in southern Indiana.

Bonnie’s first stop was at a local food pantry, where she discovered that help was available far beyond just filling her bare cupboards. Nancy Whitman, who volunteers with The Salvation Army in Martin County, recalls when Bonnie walked in through her door. “She didn’t know anything about The Salvation Army,” Nancy says. “She found out when she came in to the food pantry and started talking to the lady who works there about her issues. Then they brought her to me, and she just broke down and cried.”

On top of the late rent payment, Bonnie was also trying to figure out how to pay a water bill and prevent shut off. Thanks to a strong year of red kettle donations and several grants, Nancy was able to put together enough assistance to get Bonnie through this tough spot. “She was just really thankful, because she just didn’t know what she was going to do,” Nancy says. “She was fighting to try to figure out how she was going to pay her bills. I’m so glad we could be there for her.”

Sometimes a hand up is all it takes to get back on your feet. Because of the generosity of donors like you, Bonnie and so many others struggling for independence can get the emergency assistance they need to keep working toward their goals. Thank you for opening your hearts to our neighbors when they need you the most!