The UPS Foundation Helps The Salvation Army Deliver Light and Hope to Families in Need
Diana is a single mom of three rambunctious boys, Nathan, Alexander and Benjamin. They live across the street from The Salvation Army Red Shield Youth and Community Center in Pico Union. Diana had been going to Red Shield since she was 6 years old and now her boys have made it their home away from home.
That is, before the COVID-19 pandemic blanketed the globe and Diana and her boys had to shelter at home. The family may have found safety in staying inside their apartment, but Diana could not immunize herself from the economic damage losing her job in the maintenance and repair department of an exclusive country club caused. With her mother’s and her ex-husband’s help, she has been able to pay her rent. But food became an issue early on in the lockdown.
She found out the Red Shield had become a major food distributor to those in need in Pico Union. Diana signed up and the regular food boxes she is receiving has eased her anxiety and kept her three boys fed.
The entire family hopes Red Shield will fully re-open its doors soon where the boys can resume their tutoring, and all the other activities offered there. “When you find yourself in darkness, you begin looking for any light you can find,” Diana said. “For myself and for my family, that light was The Salvation Army.”
The Salvation Army’s Red Shield feeding program was able to substantially expand its reach thanks to donations of individuals and corporations. The UPS Foundation is one of those organizations that has helped The Salvation Army meet the increased need in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition to the more than $320,000 they’ve donated to The Salvation Army for relief efforts during the first half of 2020, they’ve charitably shipped nearly 100 truckloads of food boxes, delivering more than 1.6 million meals for families in need, 53,541 hygiene kits for over 53,000 people, 9,500 items of clothing, and 12,500 masks.
“The critical needs of the people in our communities around the world have been overwhelming and without precedent during this pandemic,” said Eduardo Martinez, President of The UPS Foundation and UPS Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. “The Salvation Army’s experience in responding to people in need has been critical in helping millions endure tragic circumstances. For nearly three decades we have been honored to partner with The Salvation Army to help provide life sustaining support to families and individuals who may have nowhere else to turn.”
“Without question, UPS is one of the most engaged and invested corporate partners we have,” said Dale Bannon, National Community Relations & Development Director for The Salvation Army. “We are grateful for all their work and advocacy to help us serve the most vulnerable in this crisis.”
In addition to this domestic work, The UPS Foundation has aided The Salvation Army in providing COVID-19 relief in dozens of countries around the world, through The Salvation Army World Service Office. Here are some highlights about what that service looks like.
In Pakistan, The Salvation Army is working in collaboration with the government and local authorities to support thousands of high-risk people in Sahiwal, Khanewal, Karachi, and Hyderabad.
In San José, Costa Rica, The Salvation Army has implemented a daily feeding program for thousands living on the capital’s streets, who have nowhere else to turn for assistance.
The Salvation Army in Uganda is supporting more than 20,000 individuals in the Kyangwali Refugee Settlement, is educating residents on the importance of proper hygiene and providing vital cleaning supplies.
Refugees and migrants in Tijuana, Mexico, are among those most affected by coronavirus in the region. Most are living in crowded shelters or in makeshift tents. The Salvation Army has been distributing care packages and cartons of beverages to assist them during this difficult time.
In Kuwait, The Salvation Army is working with embassies and consulates, as well as Kuwait City’s International Community Centre, to provide gift cards, granting migrant families access to essential food and hygiene supplies for 30 days at a time. Similar voucher schemes in Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates also ensure that migrants have a reliable source of food while economic turmoil puts their livelihoods on hold.