With water prices soaring to $600/Ml in the past week and forecasts of a dry year ahead, there is no doubt that farming communities are doing it tough.
But there are many doing extraordinary work to support locals however they need it. That’s been the job of Heather Stamp and Michelle Myles of Seymour’s Salvation Army, who are now calling on the community to get involved in the annual Red Shield Appeal, held over the weekend of May 25 and 26.
This year the organisation has a target of $8million, with the money raised going towards the Salvos’ network of services that help Australians in need.
Better yet, the money raised in Seymour and district will largely remain here, with local donations going back into the community.
Captain Heather Stamp said the Salvos need volunteers to help raise crucial funds for the Red Shield Appeal.
‘‘The Red Shield Appeal is a fun and simple way that Australians can really make a difference in alleviating the hardship being faced by so many people, right across our nation,’’ Cpt. Stamp said.
‘‘Particularly now in Seymour and its surrounding towns, we are seeing the flow-on effects of the hard times experienced by our farmers. We see people all the time in real need, and more than ever we are seeing that hit in town and on employment,’’ she said.
For more than 135 years, the Salvos in Australia have been committed to helping those doing it tough. Over the past 12 months, the Salvos have supported more than 38000 people experiencing homelessness, 14000 people overcoming addiction, provided over 50000 financial counselling sessions, given care to 5000 people experiencing family violence, and assisted more than 150000 people with emergency relief.
In addition to their work for the appeal, the Seymour Salvation Army also holds a community lunch on Fridays at noon, a soup night in conjunction with the Lions Club on Wednesdays from 6pm and Mainly Music on Thursdays at 9.30am.
They also have a thrift store, a community garden, help with emergency relief and homelessness and offer financial, drug and alcohol counselling.
‘‘The Salvos can only continue to meet the local communities’ needs with the support of volunteers. Through the support given to us, we are able to provide much-needed support in the Seymour district,’’ Cpt. Stamp said.
‘‘Hardship does not discriminate. More Australians from all walks of life are turning to the Salvation Army for help and we need the public’s support now to ensure we can continue to help those doing it tough.
‘‘We all have the opportunity to be beacons of hope for others and by partnering with the Salvos for just a few hours over the Red Shield Appeal weekend, you can give hope where it’s needed most.’’
The Seymour Salvation Army will not be conducting a door knocking operation for the Red Shield Appeal. They will instead be collecting donations at businesses around Seymour and district from May 22 until early June.
To volunteer for this year’s Red Shield Appeal, please phone Heather Stamp on 0425124122, Michelle Myles on 0409853412 or register online at salvationarmy.org.au