Salvos launch Red Shield Appeal to help fund Geraldton work

Adam PoulsenGeraldton Guardian
Dianne Bulmer (left), Annette Couper, Lieut. Tracy Watson and Lieut. Shannon Watson get ready before launching the Red Shield Appeal.
Camera IconDianne Bulmer (left), Annette Couper, Lieut. Tracy Watson and Lieut. Shannon Watson get ready before launching the Red Shield Appeal. Credit: Adam Poulsen, The Geraldton Guardian

The Salvation Army is hoping to raise more money to support Geraldton families experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

On Wednesday, the Salvos Geraldton Corps launched the annual Red Shield Appeal with a morning tea for volunteers at their new thrift shop on Anzac Terrace.

The appeal runs through May, with money raised going towards the organisation’s Geraldton Family Crisis Centre.

Salvation Army Geraldton Lieutenant Shannon Watson said, as well as providing crisis accommodation, the centre helped needy families find a permanent home and provided financial support.

“Our welfare manager works intensively with them to really help them holistically,” he said.

“They might have problems with their bills, or they might need advocacy with Centrelink or real estate agents — we will help them with that.”

The appeal will also support the Doorways program, which effectively works as an entry point for those in need of help.

“People can rock up to our reception, tell us their story, and we work out what doorway to put them through, figuratively,” Lieut. Watson said.

Lieut. Watson said the Salvos were careful to ensure resources only went towards those truly in need.

“People can be assured that when they give money to us we don’t just fling it out left right and centre,” he said.

“We have a very specific process to make sure the money is going to the right people.”

Lieut. Watson said the Salvos tried to identify and address the root causes of hardship for those they helped.

“Someone might come in seeking help with their electricity bill, but we actually sit down with them, have a good conversation and really look at their real situation.

“It might turn out that the electricity bill isn’t the issue, it’s actually something else.

“We work hard to make sure we’re really addressing those actual needs.”

Lieut. Watson said the Salvos did not assist people with rent payments.

“We like to teach people that they’ve got to prioritise that roof over their head; everything else around that, we can help with financially,” he said.

To donate, call the Salvos Geraldton Corps on 9964 3627.

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