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‘We will not stop’—volunteering during a pandemic

Denver residents Elias and Candy Salgado began helping a few families in need by using their own finances, but when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the number of financially vulnerable families skyrocketed.

A friend suggested they go to The Salvation Army for help with supplies, and so the Salgados have been coming to the Denver Red Shield every Wednesday since, picking up food boxes, and criss-crossing around Denver delivering them to families in need. In this video, they share more of their story.

Elias Salgado: We started giving food out long before they announced the pandemic. We would always help people, giving them food.

ES speaking into a cell phone: Hello.

Woman answers: Hello, good afternoon.

ES: Good afternoon; how are you?

Woman responds: Good, thank the Lord.

ES: We are going to stop by to deliver some things.

Candy Salgado: I started noticing the need that people had. Now, with the pandemic, there is a greater need, not only for food, or clothes but also for personal items.

ES: We got connected to The Salvation Army through a friend. She found out that we were helping people with our own finances. She said why don’t we go to The Salvation Army and ask if they can help us so we can help more people. The Salvation Army said, “Let’s do it.” They would ask, “What do you need? We have this, would you use this?”…Sure, yes, I’ll take it. So we started every Wednesday.

Lt. Grant Hall, Denver Red Shield Corps Officer: Anyone can come to our door. They can get a food box from us. Each food box feeds a family of four for a week. Elias—he’s a wonderful person in the community who is delivering these food boxes to friends, family and acquaintances that he knows need help. Very self-sacrificing, I think.

ES (as they arrive to make a delivery): Let’s go call her…Mrs. Mari! We brought some things for you.

Mrs. Mari: Good afternoon. How are you? Good to see you.

ES: Today we brought these: masks, paper goods, everything. We’ll leave you two [boxes]. Should I take them for you?

Mrs. Mari: Yes, come in…Your diapers, baby! (laughing)

ES: You lost your job as well?

Mrs. Mari: Yes, I lost my job in March [2020]…Thank you so much.

ES: I don’t like to see people be in need. I would like to see them have what they need. But to see a smile, to see a child who we bring diapers for, who we bring food for—it’s something incredible.

CS: Many people, besides not having good health, do not have support from anybody. There are other people who live under the shadow of a legal status…I would love to inspire people to do this. They don’t need millions of dollars. We are not rich, but we are willing to do it.

ES: We are very grateful to the employees of The Salvation Army where we pick up donation boxes because they have been super nice to us.

Lt. Hall: Matthew 25 talks about us providing water for those that are thirsty, providing food for those who are hungry. It is fundamental to our faith, and if we’re able to help either directly or maybe indirectly through people like Elias, that’s really wonderful.

ES: Truthfully, I will not stop. Whether the pandemic ends or not, we will continue doing this. While God gives me life, I will strive to continue this. I will strive to continue this.


Do Good:

  • Are you a Do Gooder, someone who cares about bringing goodness into the life of your family and community? Subscribe to The Do Gooders Podcast to be inspired by those doing good and find tangible tips for simple actions you can take today.
  • Did you know The Salvation Army served more than 23 million Americans last year fighting hunger, homelessness, substance abuse and more—all in a fight for good? Where can you help? Take our quiz to find your cause and learn how you can join in today. 
  • See how you can get involved in the Fight for Good with The Salvation Army.
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