Lieutenant Peter and Grace Kim
The Grande Prairie Salvation Army recently welcomed new commanding officers Lt. Peter Kim and his wife Lt. Grace Kim, who moved here from their post in Lethbridge.
“Brian and Edith (Beveridge) the previous majors, were retiring so we are taking their place,” said Peter.
“But it’s funny because they were from Lethbridge so we took their place when they left there to come here and… they posted us after them again,” said Grace.
The husband and wife duo come to the area with their three children (two boys 12 and 10, and a daughter who is 8).
Since being posted in Grande Prairie, the duo have hit the ground running. They’ve brought back the ‘messy church’ events to the church on Wednesday evenings for families with devotional time, a free meal and various activities.
One thing the couple has noticed is the high number of children in the community and said they’re looking to hire someone to create more youth programming. They’ve also gotten involved with various local organizations to get a better feel for needs of the community.
“At our centre, the soup kitchen and the food bank and our family services, we’re seeing an increased need of people using our services for hampers, for meals,” said Peter. “We have the stats that were given to us and realized that every month, we’re feeding more people, every month we’re giving out more hampers and it’s just overwhelming to see (what’s) happening in the community.”
The Kims said in 2014, the Salvation Army gave out 625 Christmas hampers. In 2015, that number increased to 906 hampers and for this year, they’re expecting that number to be more than 1,000.
“This is really a crucial time, I think, for Grande Prairie, of people who can give their generosity but it’s also a crucial time for those who are in need so we need to be able to provide to that need,” he said.
“And we’re considering, wondering if there’s any need for feeding kids at school, so if the schools need a snack program or help with supplementing (a) lunch program for kids who might not bring enough food for their snacks or lunch. We’re willing to work with them so we’re trying to figure out the need and contacts,” said Grace.
“By recognizing that our food bank (needs) have gone up, that probably means the parents are… (struggling to provide lunch, snacks) for the kids so we want to make sure that the kids have enough food, whether it’s a breakfast program or lunch program.”
Although both Grace and Peter said there’s lots to be done, they’re excited to be in Grande Prairie.
“I think it’s a lovely city. We feel very welcomed,” said Peter. “We feel like this is our home.”
Those who haven’t had the chance to meet the Kims will have to chance to do so when they host their rally day at the Salvation Army Church on Sept. 11 at noon.
To make some suggestions on needed programs, for more information or to get in touch with the lieutenants, visit www.salvationarmygp.ca.
Original Post by the Herald Tribune/Postmedia Network