For most of us, winter is a time to hunker down in the warmth and comfort of our homes. But for many New Zealanders even those ‘lucky enough’ to have accommodation, winter can exacerbate existing problems, like financial insecurity, unhealthy homes, mental distress and addictions.
Around a third of Kiwi homes are too cold over the winter, leading to serious health implications, especially for the elderly or very young. Forty six percent of people live in homes that are damp and mouldy. Nearly half of New Zealand children are sleeping in bedrooms that are too cold. Thirty thousand children are hospitalised every year for winter-related illnesses, including asthma, pneumonia and bronchitis.
It can feel like there’s no way out for those in financial hardship. Electricity costs have risen by 20 to 30 percent. Faced with the choice between a warm house and a full stomach, which would you choose?
People are stressed and anxious about their lives in this time of the pandemic. But The Salvation Army, Te Ope Whakaora (The Army that Brings Life), believe that we can make a difference, but we need your help.
Every day there’s more for us to do; our workload increased by 254 percent over the last year. That meant more financial mentoring and social work sessions, more Positive Lifestyle Programmes and more addiction support than ever before. We helped 1774 clients and families into warm, safe homes. Our financial mentors saw clients who were in debt to the tune of $2.7 million last year; their workload increased by a third.
The Salvation Army is there through many challenges in people’s lives. And we are there to celebrate the good times, too. Our clients become part of The Salvation Army whānau.
With your help, we can be there for them and for those still in need. Please donate to The Salvation Army Winter Appeal today at www.salvationarmy.org.nz/winterappeal