As part of her job as Director of Corporate Engagement for the Golden State Division of The Salvation Army, Morgane Dussault is trying to raise tens of millions of dollars to breathe new life into their Silicon Valley headquarters. in San Jose.
This is normal, says Dassault, because the Salvation Army has, more than once, given new life to Dussault.
Growing up in Chico, Dussault was on her way to becoming what she dreamed of. A straight student, her goal was to study international business at Pepperdine University. That path, however, would eventually take unimaginable twists when, one night at a high school party, she tried hard drugs for the first time.
“It was like something clicked in my brain and instantly left me wanting more,” Dussault said. She dropped out of school six months later and struggled, on and off, for the next 15 years with drug addiction.
“No one wakes up and says, ‘I want to be homeless today. I want to be addicted. I want to waste my whole life and live on the streets, addicted, hopeless and lost. But that’s when I found myself”. and I really didn’t know if hope was ever possible for me.”
Hope, however, came from an unexpected source: another drug addict. Dussault confessed to the woman that deep down she wanted to change her life. “She said, ‘If you want to change your life and you’re serious about it, then you have to go to the Salvation Army.'”
Soon after, Dussault found herself walking through the doors of the Salvation Army in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District.
“As soon as I walked through the doors of The Salvation Army, I was met with nothing but love. Love, acceptance. They walked by my side until I could stand on my two feet. feet. They believed in me until I could believe in myself.
Life has changed dramatically again, but for the better this time. She was able to find a job in San Francisco and returned to school. The bright future, however, fell apart again after the unexpected death of her three-month-old son.
“Within three months, I was homeless, addicted, alone,” Dussault said. “I had lost my job, I lost my house, I ruined my college education.” After spending time in prison, Dussault returned to the Salvation Army, vowing to make her recovery permanent this time.
“I started working, finding a job and supporting my family. It was a struggle. It was really, really hard, but every day I showed up and worked and kept working and working to rebuild my life.”
Grateful for all they had done for her, Dussault began volunteering for the Salvation Army, trying to do for others what had been done for her.
“I thought to myself, ‘If I can make wrestling a little bit easier for someone, then I can really make a difference.’
Dussault eventually came to work with the Salvation Army, achieving her current position. She’s looking for ways Bay Area businesses can partner with the Salvation Army, offering things like job training or donations to the new headquarters.
“I realized all the experiences, all the adversities, all the struggles that I’ve been through have led me to this point and shaped me into the person I am today and that’s why I am so inspired and so committed to making a difference for others.”