Army rescue

POVERTY can sneak up on any family at Christmas – just ask Catherine and Dean and their four kids.

While Dean worked steady hours, Catherine stayed at home raising their children. 

They were good budgeters and had everything they valued in life; most importantly a home full of love.

Then everything started to unravel: the family had to move house, Dean’s hours were cut and then Catherine was diagnosed with a rare brain condition.

“There was a day when one doctor told Catherine she would probably die or suffer a severe, debilitating stroke and ‘be left a vegetable’,” Dean says.

The couple were worried about how they would afford the medical treatment, let alone pay the mortgage. 

• Catherine and Dean (not real names) with their four kids.

But most of all they were terrified of letting their kids down at Christmas.

Thankfully an act of kindness from a friend named Sandra turned Christmas back into a celebration.

Sandra put the family’s name down for a Salvation Army Christmas Cheer hamper, which arrived overflowing with much-needed food and Christmas presents for the kids, and Catherine and Dean.

This simple yet selfless gesture of kindness filled the family’s hearts with hope.

In the weeks following Christmas, Catherine’s treatment was successful and she continues to get stronger each day. 

And with support from the Salvos, the family is slowly beginning to find their feet again.

To donate to the Salvos go to

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