• Kay Pinkerton

Griffin, Georgia Salvation Army Answers Call for Help

GRIFFIN, GA (March 31, 2020) — The novel (new) coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has led to massive lifestyle changes for millions of Americans. From rigorous handwashing, to social distancing, to job disruptions ­– COVID-19’s growing impact leaves no American unscathed.

For elderly and frail individuals, COVID-19 is especially harrowing. The virus’s aggressive spread has left many feeling vulnerable, isolated and scared.

Diane Boyle, 57, is one such individual. During the 1980s, Boyle almost died after the driver of a large, earth-moving machine backed into her car. The car was destroyed, but Boyle – freed from her vehicle with the Jaws of Life® tool – managed to survive.

“I’m a miracle,” she said.

Despite the heroic rescue and lengthy hospital stay, the accident led to a lifetime of health issues for the Griffin, GA-based woman. Today, Boyle lives alone, in her modest home, without the aid of friends or family. When needed, the home-bound woman seeks help from outside sources. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in local business closures – including her church – leaving Boyle isolated and in need of help.

“I had no food,” she said.

Searching for ideas, Boyle turned on her television. There, on the screen, was a Salvation Army public service announcement.

“God wanted me to hear that,” said Boyle, who is a practicing Roman Catholic.

She called The Salvation Army’s 1-800 number and explained her situation. The call led to a visit by The Salvation Army’s Lieutenant Paula Blevins.

Said Blevins, “Visiting with Diane, it was obvious she had significant medical issues – mostly respiratory.  She needed help with food. Diane also needed her prescription medications refilled. Being home-bound, she had no way to get them.”

After assessing her needs, Lt. Blevins delivered food and water to the grateful Boyle.

“She brought me peanut butter, oatmeal, applesauce, cans of soup and canned vegetables,” said Boyle.

Lt. Blevins also offered to pick up Boyle’s medications at the nearby pharmacy.

“You can trust me,” she said to Boyle.

Boyle did, in fact, trust Lt. Blevins. Because she trusted The Salvation Army. As a child, Boyle had listened to her mother recount stories about her maternal grandmother, Lillian O’Leary. According to Boyle’s mother, O’Leary had suffered from spousal abuse while trying to raise eight children in Boston.

“No one, including her church, would help my grandmother. The Salvation Army was the only group to help” said Boyle. “I always try to put something in the kettle.”

Her grandmother’s eldest son was also grateful for The Salvation Army during those difficult times. 

“When my uncle died in Arizona, he wanted to leave everything to The Salvation Army out of gratitude,” said Boyle.

“I can testify for three generations of The Salvation Army ‘Doing the Most Good,’” she said. 


How You Can Help:

The best way to help The Salvation Army is via financial contributions. Monetary donations allow The Salvation Army to meet the immediate needs of individuals who are seeking help from the COVID-19 pandemic.

•   Donate online: www.HelpSalvationArmy.org

•   Donate by phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769)