ONLINE APPEAL: Lockyer Valley Salvation Army group auxiliary lieutenant Rhys Wilson. PHOTO: Ali Kuchel
ONLINE APPEAL: Lockyer Valley Salvation Army group auxiliary lieutenant Rhys Wilson. PHOTO: Ali Kuchel

Digital doorknock calls for donation support

A TRADITION more than half a century in the making is the latest casualty of the coronavirus, with an annual fundraising event moving to online-only for the first time.

For 55 years, the Salvation Army has taken to knocking on doors each May for its Red Shield Appeal, but will be moving to a digital model this year due to social distancing requirements.

Auxiliary Lieutenant Rhys Wilson from The Salvation Army in the Lockyer Valley said money raised locally would help fund local initiatives, such as providing food hampers for people who were struggling and families needing emergency relief and assistance.

"We anticipate seeing some of the greatest need that we've ever seen in our 140-year history serving Australians," he said.

"The COVID-19 crisis has financially crippled many Australians and it will take months to see the real impact it will have."

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He said Australians were facing an economic and social crisis unlike anything witnessed in recent decades and The Salvation Army was preparing to provide hardship support on an unprecedented scale.

The Salvos hope to enlist 10,000 virtual collectors to sign up and fundraise for the Red Shield Appeal Digital Doorknock on May 23 and 24.

"The Salvos are going digital this year and it's easier than ever to volunteer your time and help raise money for those in need," Mr Wilson said.

"We are asking our local community to partner with us to provide the critical care needed as we face these challenging times."

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The Salvation Army's most recent annual report noted its social services provided more than one million sessions of care to Australians in need, helped 46,000 people experiencing homelessness, provided financial counselling to more than 65,000 and offered care to 13,000 people who were coping with family violence.

The past year also saw an ongoing response to drought, while Salvation Army Emergency Services responded to the rolling bushfires crisis by providing more than 500,000 meals and refreshments to first responders and displaced people.

To help with the appeal, go to digitaldoorknock.salvationarmy.org.au and enter your suburb or postcode to find the nearest Red Shield Appeal to help those doing it tough in the community.


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