The Salvation Army has provided essential and in many cases life-saving support to people who experienced the devastating financial effects of the Covid lockdown. Countless of these people have expressed their thanks and have been inspired to pay it forward so that other people in difficulty can also get the support they need. Very few have gone to the extremes of Ollie Kidd, however.
Ollie, who is from Harwich, leapt out of an airplane to raise funds for The Salvation Army.
The skydive took place on 4 September, with many people sponsoring Ollie and becoming a part of The Salvation Army’s fundraising history.
Ollie was one of the unfortunate people who set up a new business too recently to get government help when the pandemic hit. He’d just set himself up as a freelance contractor who sprayed car parts when work suddenly dried up.
The factory that he was working for was forced to close up shop for the 10 weeks of hard lockdown and Ollie had no idea how he was going to support his family of six, let alone meet his other financial obligations.
He’d contacted his landlord to tell him he couldn’t pay the rent and circumstances seemed bleak indeed. Then The Salvation Army arrived at his door. The charity’s leaders in Harwich, Shawn and Victoria Moye, kept the family going with regular food parcels and also ensured that their gas card and electric key were always topped up.
Ollie said, “They have made life a little bit more bearable and are always there on the end of the phone. We feel we have new members of our family that we can turn to when life gets hard. Without them, I don’t know where we would be now.”
Thousands of other people needing help throughout the pandemic have kept going thanks to The Salvation Army’s support, which included delivering over 60,000 meals to families.
Thanks go both ways
Ollie may be grateful for all the support he and his family received from The Salvation Army, but the charity is also grateful for Ollie’s fundraising efforts.
Victoria Moye said, “Shawn and I wish Ollie all the best and we’re in awe that he’s decided to do something so daring to say thank you. His efforts will help us continue to support other families experiencing similar hardships.”