Why I Support the Salvation Army Bed & Bread Club

by Jim Vella

CEO & Founder, Vella Strategic Philanthropy Group
Published On: February 28, 2022Categories: Insights, Social Justice

The first time I rode the Salvation Army Bed & Bread Club truck I came back without my gloves. It was a wet, cold winter day in Detroit and a gentleman who came to the truck for food didn’t have anything to keep his hands warm. I gave him my gloves. He needed them way more than I did.

I’ve volunteered on the Bed & Bread Club truck several times since then. I live in Detroit.  Spending a few hours handing out food from the truck is a good way to remind yourself that we walk among people who do not have enough to eat. That’s hard to imagine. In an age when we can summon hot food to our doorsteps from our phones, there are families we see every day without enough money to feed themselves.

The Bed & Bread Club truck serves that need. Three trucks head into Detroit neighborhoods rain, snow or shine and distribute more than 4,000 meals daily to people who can’t access food in other ways. When state and city health officials needed to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to underserved parts of Detroit, they turned to the Bed & Bread Club because of the trust it has built among residents by showing up every day for more than 30 years.

That’s why I stay involved with the Salvation Army. I serve on the National Advisory Board and on the Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Advisory Board. Each year I also participate in the annual Bed & Bread Club Radiothon, hosted by News/Talk 760 WJR, which raises money to support the program through the year.

Last Friday I spent 11 hours on the air with my Salvation Army and WJR friends. I believe it’s important to instill a sense of community support with future generations, so each year my children and I talk about how we are going to support the Salvation Army. There are 12 of us now, including grandchildren, so we were pleased to donate $12,000.

At the end of the day $1,742,023 was raised to sustain the Bed & Bread Club program for another year. If anyone is interested in joining us you can still help by making a donation. Because, as the Salvation Army folks say, hunger and homelessness do not take a day off.

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