Salvos Red Shield Appeal helping community for 50 years
THE Salvation Army's Red Shield Appeal will celebrate its 50th year of helping needy people all over Australia when thousands of volunteers hit the streets to collect money this weekend.
On the Granite Belt, a group of dedicated volunteers will again be covering the streets of Stanthorpe with an aim to go even better than the $4000 raised last year.
Doorknock committee member Kurt Empen said Stanthorpe was a truly generous community and always gave well to the appeal.
"We do well in comparison to the district...we stack up quite well against Warwick," he said.
"Last year we raised $4000 and one year we got to $5000. We aim for $7000 each year.
"It's something we can all get into and see real results. We get everyone on board with so many people putting their hand up."
A majority of the collectors is made up of schoolchildren from both St Joseph's and Stanthorpe state primary and high schools, with about 50 volunteers getting involved each year.
"The Lions, Girl Guides and many committed people get out into the street and put in," Mr Empen said.
"We really try to make the kids the main collectors.
"We meet at the Queensland Country Women's Association hall and the ladies arrange food, tea and coffee at the end of the walk.
"The kids all get something to eat and we debrief on the day.
"Parents and members of the Lions come along too."
Mr Empen believes the Red Shield Appeal is a true indicator of a community's spirit.
"Salvos do a great job in getting the money to where it's needed most," he said.
"If you can support the people doing it extremely tough, then that's a good thing."
Salvation Army spokesman Major Bruce Harmer said the charity was truly thankful for the generosity and support of the Australian community over the last 50 years, contributing to the success of the Red Shield Appeal.
"The annual Red Shield Appeal doorknock weekend has become part of the fabric of Australian society," Major Harmer said.
"By volunteering time or donating financially to the Red Shield Appeal, Australians, through The Salvation Army, are able to do their part and help make a positive difference in the lives of those less fortunate in society."
The Salvation Army's goal statewide is $9.5 million, forming part of the overall Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal which aims to raise $74 million across the country.
Major Harmer said the Salvos were in a unique position, assisting more than one million people annually.
"For many individuals and families, hard times can be simply one pay cheque away," Major Harmer said.
"Whether it be through our homelessness services, women's and children's services, emergency welfare, financial counselling, addiction recovery programs, rural support, suicide bereavement and prevention and many other services, The Salvation Army is there to give hope where it's needed most."
- More than 11,000 people helped by homelessness services by way of case-management support.
- Cook more than 50,000 meals for the hungry every week.
- Support more than 1100 women through domestic violence services.
- More than 130,000 assisted in disaster-affected situations by emergency services.