The Salvation Army Territorial Commander Commissioner Don Bell toured Christchurch today to see for himself the Salvation Army’s work with earthquake effected residents and encourage Army staff and volunteers.
Community Ministries in the region are bracing for increased demand for their services when Christchurch’s last remaining welfare centre closes tomorrow.
All Salvation Army centres in the area are reporting increases in demand for food parcels. Community Ministries at Linwood distributed 180 food parcels on Monday, compared to 80 on Sunday. Meanwhile, food and other goods continue to flow into storage and cool store facilities secured by The Salvation Army last week.
The first of 10,000 care packages were distributed to Kaiapoi residents yesterday, with the help of Westpac and World Vision New Zealand volunteers. Public Relations Secretary Major Robbie Ross said most residents became quite emotional when given the packages. The parcels contain food, confectionary and personal hygiene and cleaning products. They also include a pamphlet outlining Salvation Army services and contact details.
Twenty Salvation Army counsellors, including 10 from Australia who arrived last night, are busy working in the worst-affected areas. A survey of 500 people randomly selected by the Welfare Action Group, representing Government agencies, found 40 per cent of people saw counselling as their priority need.