Pona's Story | The Salvation Army

Pona's Story

Hope is waiting at the door this Christmas

In tough times, people from all walks of life find themselves needing support and empowerment from The Salvation Army. Anyone can step through our doors, just as Pona did.

It’s enough to say that Pona has experienced some hard times. Unsure where to go for help, she decided to ‘dip in’ to her local Sallies. Ramona, a Community Ministries manager, greeted Pona at the door with a warm hug, a hot drink, and a listening ear.

‘This beautiful lady, Ramona. She was so lovely. She was so kind. She sat down, together with me, and we had a good conversation, and she explained everything about The Salvation Army and what they could do to help me with my mental health but mostly with my spiritual walk.’ From that first hot cup of tea, Pona’s trust in Ramona grew.

After assessing her situation, Ramona made sure that Pona received the empowerment and support she needed from our wraparound services. Ramona explains that Salvation Army is here to come alongside people during the festive season and ensure that they aren’t overburdened by life’s pressures. Pona, like so many others, received the Christmas Hamper and small Christmas gifts.

Pona was truly embraced by The Salvation Army staff and encouraged to get involved in community. Ramona organises the Women’s Walking Group where women prioritise their wellbeing and in doing so, realise they aren’t walking alone. This led to Pona completing Wahine Toa (mighty women), a 36-week programme that exists to develop and strengthen the mana and physical, emotional, spiritual and family health of women.

Pona also completed one of our Positive Lifestyle Programmes, which are designed to help people identify areas that are holding them back and build skills in goal setting, decision-making and problem-solving.

‘This programme encouraged me to share, to speak out and let it out of my heart so I can rejoice and now I’m just like a new person. I have accomplished a lot by completing this programme, it is something I practice and use to encourage women I come across in my journey.’

Pona is now described by a proud Ramona as ‘Wahine Toa’ in her own right. Pona lifted herself up with the support of Salvation Army services, sparking new life in her, and now gives back at the Food Bank and community kitchen.

There’s a quote that says, ‘It takes each of us to make a difference for all of us’.

Pona described the relief, joy, excitement and hope she felt when she walked through the doors of her local Sallies. This difference has been possible because of generous donations.

You can make a difference in someone’s life and donate now so that our doors are open for everyone else who needs support, connection, and empowerment across Aotearoa New Zealand this Christmas.

We’ve packaged up our nine Gifts of Hope this Christmas for you to give to kiwis that need it - kiwis just like Pona who needed a helping hand to enable her to change her life. Each of these Gifts of Hope represent one of our life-changing services.

‘With us entering this season of gifting, your help and your donation can help change somebody else’s life. Thank you for that great thing you're doing.’ – Pona

Please donate now.