Mar 4, 2021 | by Eastern Pennsylvania Division

Levittown, PA. (May 11, 2020) – Walter, 78, and his wife Helga, 77, have been struggling to make ends meet on the Social Security benefits they receive. "We are caught in a bad position," Walter said. "Our income is too high to get welfare, but not high enough to cover our expenses. By the end of the month, we are hurting for food." 

One day close to the end of the month, the couple had set the table for dinner but had no food to put on the plates. They were surprised by a knock on the door. They had no face masks to wear, so they used coffee filters to cover their faces when they opened the door. 

Lieutenant Kendall Stout of The Salvation Army Levittown Corps was standing on the porch to drop off bags of food for the couple. "I don't know who referred her to us, but she had all kinds of food, and it certainly was needed," Walter continued. "Lt. Kendall was a godsend." 

While Lt. Kendall kept a safe distance on the porch, she saw the empty plates on the kitchen table, and listened as the couple explained they had no food for dinner and were so grateful for what she had brought.  

"When we left, Walter was crying. My heart melted, and I was in tears," Lt. Kendall said. She told Chris, a Salvation Army employee who accompanies her when making food deliveries, "We have to do more."  

A week later, Lt. Kendall and Chris found themselves knocking on that same door with a spaghetti meal to help fill those once empty plates, along with washable face masks. Walter and Helga were so touched, they both started crying. Since then, Lt. Kendall has stopped by once a week to deliver food to the couple. 

"They were so grateful for the food we gave them," said Lt. Kendall. "Even though it might be one small meal, one small meal is all it takes to remind people they matter, they are not alone, and that there is hope." 

"Lt. Kendall is amazing, very pleasant, and congenial. I think she deserves a promotion!" Walter exclaimed. "On their way out, they even took the trash out for me so I wouldn't have to do it myself."  

Walter and Helga are both disabled and have been self-quarantined since the pandemic began. This month, they will celebrate their 57th wedding anniversary. 

Lt. Kendall described another situation while delivering food where she had a strong feeling she "had to do more." 

"A phone call came in from someone in the community asking if we could help a homeless couple who were living in a tent in the woods, cooking over a fire to eat. We were only given a general idea about where they were located. With no hesitation, we loaded up with hot dogs, canned soups, and food they could cook over a fire, along with socks and toiletries. Then we began our adventure to find them." 

Lt. Kendall and Chris set out with arms full of food, walking through the muddy, bug-infested woods.  "We finally saw a tent and a fire in the distance. A man came running towards us with a huge smile and a sigh of relief." After they dropped off the food and supplies, they asked the couple if they needed anything else. The man said if they ever came across a pair of hiking boots, it would help his feet stay warm and dry.   

"We then decided we could do more, so we made our way to a store and found a pair of hiking boots his size for just thirteen dollars. The man was overwhelmed with gratitude. I have never met anyone so grateful and humble in my life. He couldn't stop saying 'thank you' and 'God bless you,' " Lt. Kendall marveled.  

The Salvation Army is committed to looking for ways to do more, offering care and compassion at a time when we all need each other the most, throughout this pandemic and beyond. 

To give to The Salvation Army, please go to The Salvation Army Virtual Food Pantry. 

The Salvation Army Levittown Corps phone number:  215-945-0717     

The food pantry is open from Monday to Friday, 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.  No appointment is necessary. 

About The Salvation Army:   

The Salvation Army of Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware is a faith-based, comprehensive human service organization whose programs help individuals, families and whole communities lead healthier, safer and more productive lives. Since 1879, The Army has held a record of accomplishment stemming from its holistic approach to providing for the needs of the whole individual – physically, emotionally, economically and spiritually. The Army’s programming serves every zip code through 48 community centers and a network of volunteers throughout Eastern Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and Delaware. Programs and services historically include: shelter, hot meals, counseling, early childhood development, recreational opportunities, music programs, after-school arts and educational programs, job training, activities for older adults, spiritual development, and drug rehabilitation.  

Mission Statement: The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination. 

For more information, please visit www.SalvationArmyPA.org 

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