Distilling Hope

These are not ordinary times. The covid-19 emergency has resulted in many everyday items becoming nearly impossible to get. High on the list is hand sanitizer. Store shelves are empty and retailers aren’t sure when they will be restocked. Pre covid-19, that isn't too serious a problem. But in today's world, it could spell disaster for The Salvation Army Center of Hope Family Shelter in Winston-Salem.

As the nation shuts down and social distancing becomes the new normal, 40 persons, 25 of them children, currently call the Center of Hope home. The only family emergency homeless shelter in Forsyth County, the Center of Hope gives families and individuals the chance to make a new start and get back on their feet. Their health and safety is paramount and hand sanitizer is a critical part of that process.

The Center of Hope was down to their last bottle when they where made aware of the Broad Branch Distillery in downtown Winston-Salem. In addition to crafting their usual array of whiskeys, they began making hand sanitizer for free distribution to the public. And that’s how The Salvation Army came to be inside a distillery on the first day of Spring. When the irony of a faith based organization’s representative standing next to vats of spirits was pointed out, distiller Don Jenkins laughed and said, “Well, we have to put our faith to good use.”

The Broad Branch staff made up a large batch of hand sanitizer on the spot to donate to the shelter. They then invited The Salvation Army to come back for more when needed.

Mr. Jenkins said as The Salvation Army staffer was on the way out, “This kind of work puts us in high spirits!” In these most difficult times, a smile, and a case of hand sanitizer, is just the ticket.


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