Volunteer to give hope

Major Mark Williamson is looking for volunteers to help with the Red Shield Appeal in Canowindra.
Major Mark Williamson is looking for volunteers to help with the Red Shield Appeal in Canowindra.

The Salvation Army is urging Canowindra residents to get involved in its annual Red Shield Appeal to help contribute towards this year’s national target of $7.5 million.

Major Mark Williamson is coordinating the local Red Shield Appeal in Canowindra.

“This year we’re concentrating our efforts on static collection points rather than door-knocking,” he said.

“I’m pleased that we have been given permission by local business owners and council to receive donations outside IGA each day from Monday, May 21 until Friday, May 25 and on Saturday morning, May 26, outside the Canowindra Pharmacy.”

“My biggest need at the moment, though, is for volunteers to collect at these spots,” Major Mark said.

“I’m not asking people to walk the streets and knock on doors this year but it would be great if a few people could come forward and offer to sit with a collection bucket for an hour or two.”

To volunteer call 13 SALVOS (13 72 58) or register online at salvos.org.au or contact Major Mark at Moyne on 6344 1475.

You can donate to the Red Shield Appeal by calling 13 SALVOS (13 72 58), online at salvos.org.au, in person at any Westpac branch or Salvos Stores or by posting your cheque to PO Box 9888 in your capital city.

The money raised from the Red Shield Appeal will go towards The Salvation Army’s vast network of social services to help those in need. In a typical week, the Salvos provide over 17,000 beds for those suffering homelessness, 40,000 meals for the hungry, over 1,400 financial counselling sessions and refuge for over 100 women affected by domestic violence.

The Salvation Army’s National Secretary for Communications, Lieut-Colonel Neil Venables, says the Salvos are aiming to mobilise 70,000 volunteers for the Red Shield Appeal to help meet the growing demand on its services.

“Hardship does not discriminate. More and more people from all walks of life are turning to The Salvation Army for assistance. We need the public’s support now more than ever,” Lieut-Colonel Venables says.

Lieut-Colonel Venables says by volunteering or donating to the Red Shield Appeal you can make a huge impact in communities across the country.

“Every donation makes a difference,” he says.

“Just $28 helps children at risk of homelessness participate in an after-school program, $60 provides a food hamper so that a struggling family doesn’t have to go hungry, and $79 provides one day of support for a family to find a home. Even a relatively small contribution can have an immeasurable impact on someone’s life.”

Lieut-Colonel Venables says volunteers play a crucial role in providing a hand up to some of the most vulnerable and marginalised people in our community.

“Volunteers are the lifeblood of what we do. They are our largest workforce, which enables the continued success and improvement of our vital social programs. These programs include emergency housing for people in crisis, drug and alcohol rehabs, financial counselling services, as well as a host of social programs,” he says.

The Salvation Army has a trusted history in helping Australians in need for over 135 years but Lieut-Colonel Venables says the Salvos cannot continue to meet this need without the public’s support.

“We cannot do this alone,” he says. “We all have the opportunity to be beacons of hope for others and by partnering with the Salvos for just a few hours over the Red Shield Appeal week, you can give hope where it’s needed most.”