3 Apr | 2014
It’s only a few weeks until The Salvation Army’s annual Red Shield street appeal, which runs from 28 April to 4 May.
This is such a crucial fundraiser for the Army, helping to fund our network of Community Ministries welfare centres across New Zealand. These centres are a front door to a second chance in life for a lot of people.
Last year, our Community Ministries centres provided 56,707 food parcels to 28,913 clients—but we also helped in so many other ways. When people come to us for help with food because their household budget has become impossibly stretched, often we’re able to wrap entire packages of care around them.
This includes everything from budgeting advice, accommodation, and life skills and parenting training, to helping with drug, alcohol and gambling addictions—and even training people so they have the right skills to find jobs.
Felicity had managed to balance her household budget for years before falling into debt as she tried to meet household bills and provide her children with the things they needed for school and sports activities.
The only part-time job she could find that fitted in with her children’s school hours was a paper run paying just $2.50 a day. She took the job. Felicity then approached The Salvation Army for help. Food parcels helped take some pressure off, while a budget advisor worked with Felicity to devise a workable budget and helped negotiate workable repayment schedules with her creditors.
In August this year—about 18 months after the first meeting with her budget adviser—Felicity will have all of her debt paid off.
This is the type of life-transforming work those serving in our Community Ministries centres are involved in every day. This is the type of work our Red Shield Appeal funds. But for this year’s appeal to be a success, we need more people out and about during Red Shield Appeal Week.
The Sallies used to pound the pavements knocking on doors and politely asking for donations to the Red Shield Appeal. Then The Salvation Army led the way for many other New Zealand charities by shifting its collecting style, locating our collectors in busy foot traffic areas such as shopping centres and railway stations.
A real strength back then, was that we deployed a whole army of volunteers to help us collect: service clubs, sporting clubs, high school students and supporters from right across the community. Over the years, we’ve become somewhat self-sufficient in our approach to Red Shield Appeal Week and lost contact with some of those valuable volunteer networks.
This year, we want to reactivate some of those old links. We still want our church people to put their hands up to help out with collecting for the appeal, but we’d love it if people from the wider New Zealand community felt free to give an hour or two of their time to help out too.
If you can smile and say ‘thank you’, you’re welcome to join our team to strengthen the wonderful work that goes on every day in our Community Ministries centres. Just contact your nearest Salvation Army and let them know that you’d like to help this year.
Or you can:
Thank you for standing side by side with Kiwis in need.