Thousands of Australians have supported The Salvation Army’s opening call for donations to the annual Red Shield Appeal to help ensure together, we leave no one in need.
In past years, The Salvos would recruit an army of 40,000 volunteers to champion the annual Doorknock Weekend campaign. However, Covid-19 required a radical and swift change to a digital peer-to-peer experience.
Registered volunteers called on their family, friends and connections to support them in lieu of going door-to-door, being at intersections, community sports venues and shopping centres.
From Friday to Monday, the digital tally reached $2.1 million dollars and includes a matching pledge of $500,000 from Nicola and Andrew Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation.
The same four-day progressive total last year was $4.2 million. The community-based fundraising will continue to the end of June in the push towards a target of $8 million.
The Salvation Army’s Secretary for Communications, Lt Col Neil Venables said, “We appreciate every gift and would encourage Australians to donate at salvationarmy.org.au – Indications are that Salvation Army community support services are yet to see peak demand from the economic impact of COVID-19”.
The Red Shield Appeal seeks Australians’ donations for the year-round work of The Salvos in supporting the most vulnerable in our communities. The Red Shield Appeal underpins The Salvos support for Australians facing homelessness and rough-sleeping, poverty, family and domestic violence and addiction. It also provides a standing capability to muster a rapid response to support emergency services and evacuees with food, water and personal care packs.
Lt Col Venables noted, “The need to take 55 years of door knocking tradition into the digital space at short notice was daunting but in light of this, Aussies have shown true heart for their community.”
“We thank all those who volunteered and donated, along with the Minderoo Foundation’s generous gift, which took a leading position in encouraging Australians to give in support of those doing it tough.”
Local figures to Wednesday afternoon show a total of $545 raised in Grafton and $467 in Maclean.
The Red Shield Appeal is open to June 30. Donations can be made by calling 13 SALVOS (13 72 58) or at salvationarmy.org.au