FOOD to eat, a place to stay, keeping warm in winter.
It’s not the luxuries an annual Border fundraising campaign will assist, but rather the fundamental elements of life.
The Salvation Army hopes to raise $45,000 in Albury and Wodonga during this year’s Red Shield Appeal, with the main activities taking place on May 27 and 28.
Albury majors Phillip and Irene Pleffer and Wodonga Captain Christine Abram will oversee the appeal, which will include collection points at shopping centres as well as door-to-door.
Volunteers are needed to help the region reach its target.
“Please give your time to help us to raise funds, people are waiting to give to help somebody else,” Major Irene Pleffer said.
The Salvation Army said in a typical week it provided 100,000 meals, 2000 beds for the homeless, refuge for 500 people fleeing abuse and distributed up to 8000 grocery vouchers.
The Albury-Wodonga officers come across such needs frequently.
“Things are getting tough for people, I think,” Captain Abram said.
“There’s quite a few living below the poverty line, $20 a day. We have people who need blankets and clothes for their children and for themselves.
“We need some support to keep the meals coming because we hand out vouchers for people to come in and have a hot meal when they need it.”
Rising utility bills and rent, family violence and relationship breakdown could also lead to financial stress.
“And health concerns, so increased medical bills and trips to Melbourne and help for people getting down there, for medical expenses and accommodation,” Captain Abram said.
Major Irene Pleffer said people from all walks of life sought assistance.
“Living costs are high and people’s income is low and additional expenses for winter time ... it puts strains on families and individuals, pensioners,” she said.
“I think that they just find that they can’t make ends meet and the only alternative is to come to charities like The Salvation Army,” Major Phillip Pleffer added.
The national Red Shield Appeal aims to raise $8 million with the help of more than 60,000 volunteers.
- To volunteer as a Red Shield Appeal collector, call 13 72 58 or register online at salvationarmy.org.au/collect