But in its own hour of need, a Salvation Army branch in a small Scottish town got a pleasant shock after it received a donation of 850,000 British pounds (US$1.3 million) from a pensioner who had benefited from the Christian organization’s welfare services.
When 90-year-old Robert Saddler, a retired Edinburgh architect who lived in Forfar, 120 kilometers (75 miles) northeast of the Scottish capital, died in 2009 he left the Salvation Army a small fortune in his will.
Major Jim McCluskey, team leader of the army’s Angus county’s community service, told Ecumenical News International, “We have been thrown a lifeline with this legacy. It is truly God sent.”
Over the last few years, Saddler, who lived on his own, received regular domestic help from a Salvation Army team of trained helpers.
McCluskey said, “We were extremely surprised. The reality is we were down to our last penny, and, on the same day we were going to discuss what to do about the situation, we were informed about this legacy. It is a lifeline. Mr. Saddler was a service user of ours. We did his shopping and collected medication. We are extremely grateful.”
The Salvation Army is an international Christian evangelical movement that operates in 118 countries. In 1865, William and Catherine Booth began the organization in London’s East End, an area of the city where many poor people were living.
The Salvation Army’s North Scotland Divisional Commander, Major Martin Hill, said, “Many people will benefit from Mr. Saddler’s kindness. We will now be able to look at various needs of older people in the Angus area.”