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Sally’s Story: A cook with no food…

Story and Photo by Branden Harvey

When I met Sally, she immediately started telling me about her daughter with a huge smile. She’s 14 and Sally’s whole world.

Sally relapsed when her daughter was 1, but immediately recognized that she needed to get her act together. She’s been clean for 13 years. Life has continued to throw them curve balls though. Running from an abusive ex meant that Sally had to keep on moving, making it hard to keep a job & even more difficult to keep a roof over her daughter’s head. When she moved to Nashville she found work as a cook (she loves to cook!) — despite not having a place to live. A fellow cook who used to stay at the Salvation Army recommended the Salvation Army as a safe place to stay. She went in for an interview & 2 days later they moved in! Sally hadn’t gotten her first paycheck yet & didn’t have money for groceries that first week. I can’t imagine the feeling of going to work as a COOK with an empty stomach. She said the folks at Salvation Army sensed she needed food & gave her enough groceries to cover her until her paycheck came. She said they sneakily put the groceries in her fridge while she was at work on the 1st day. Which is super cute surprise. Sally is saving as much as she can from every paycheck in the hopes that in 60 days she’ll be able to afford rent at a place of her own. But until then, she said this feels like home.

I asked if she’d ever had any interactions with the Salvation Army before this year. She said she worked the kettle bells one year, helping raise money for people who need a little assistance.

She says now whenever she sees someone with a Salvation Army apron ringing a bell, even when she doesn’t have a dollar, she always walks up and says thank you. Because they’re making a difference for her & so many others. #storyportrait

This is part of a 3-part series with my partners @salvationarmyus. I’ve grown up hearing about the impactful work they do, but have never experienced it first-hand. I wanted to do this storytelling project to get to know the people who are directly impacted and share their stories with others around the holidays. I hope you enjoy.

#FightForGood #SalvationArmyPartner

View more of Brandon’s work at https://www.instagram.com/brandenharvey/

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