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Loneliness is a serious problem that no medicine can cure. This is evident in hospitals, convalescent and nursing homes, correctional institutions, veteran's medical centers, and children's homes. The Salvation Army formed the League of Mercy to help alleviate such suffering.
The League of Mercy is a visitation program that connects volunteers and Salvation Army officers and soldiers to those with special needs in hospitals, nursing homes, and correctional facilities.
Volunteers of all ages from all backgrounds continue to join LOM. Some of these people are from churches and colleges. For example, in San Bernadino, California, the California State University Athletic Department has enlisted student athletes, coaches, department officials, and even the team mascot for visits to patients at the Del Rosa Convalescent Hospital.
Volunteers in the Seattle, Washington area visit patients at the
Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC) on a weekly basis,
offering friendship, spiritual support, and comfort items, such as
shampoo, stationery, postage stamps, combs, and lap robes.
League of Mercy campaigns of charity have a long life and cover a wide spectrum of need. In Aurora, Illinois, a 30-year-old Christmas gift distribution program benefits some 2,000 troubled teens in residential care. The teens receive candy and cards for both giving to others and for themselves--a gesture that equips them to reach out in a significant way as typical participants during holiday events.
The League of Mercy began in 1892 in Canada and is made up of people of
all ages whose mission is to engage in a caring ministry. The main
objective of the League of Mercy is to respond to the spiritual and
social needs of the community. The ministry is adapted according to the
local situation, the size of its membership and the skill of its
members, and endeavours to follow Christ’s injunction, ‘Inasmuch as ye
have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done
it unto me’ (Matthew 25:40, AV).