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Personal touch still a vital aspect of collection

Personal touch still a vital aspect of collection

Personal touch still a vital aspect of collection

9 May 2016

Commissioner James Condon with special guests (from left) Gabrielle Upton (NSW Attorney General), Belinda Hutchinson (Sydney University Chancellor) and Stephen Conry (Jones Lang LaSalle CEO). Photo: Lena Pobjie.

By Bill Simpson

Salvationists are being challenged to be selfless in their giving during this month’s annual Red Shield Appeal community collection. They are being encouraged to offer hope not only to those who will benefit from funds raised but also to their community who do not yet know Christ. “Yes, the Red Shield Appeal is about raising much-needed funds for people in need; people without hope,” Australia Eastern Territory Communications and Fundraising Secretary, Major Bruce Harmer, told Pipeline. “But it’s also an opportunity to share with people about the hope that Jesus offers to a hurting world.”

The slogan for this year’s appeal is: You can give HOPE where it’s needed most. That slogan, Major Harmer says, underlines everything The Salvation Army does in offering hope. “We offer hope to the homeless; to people in addiction. We offer hope to the elderly and lonely, to the unemployed, the victims of domestic violence, those who cannot afford food for their families and those who struggle with paying bills. We offer hope to people in all sorts of difficult and seemingly hopeless situations.

“The Red Shield Appeal’s goal is to offer and provide hope for everyone who comes to us for support. Hope is in everything we do as The Salvation Army – hope for today and for tomorrow. For the Salvationist, offering hope is integral to our spiritual life. The Red Shield Appeal is one vehicle that provides us an opportunity to have meaningful connections with members of the communities in which we live.

“We can raise funds, yes, but we also need to show our community the hope that is in Jesus Christ. We are called to be a source of encouragement and hope to those around us. Robyn Lewis’ story that accompanies this article  is an example of the hope that we have to offer as Salvationists.

“The Salvation Army is a body with many parts and functions. To work successfully, we need to work together, as a unified team. Many of our people may not have an expression of Salvation Army social work in their community. Many may never see those who are assisted with the funds they raise, yet they can play an important part in the raising of funds that will help somebody in need many miles away.”

Major Harmer said he hoped Salvationists would continue to be part of a doorknock collection, even though there was an increasing trend toward other forms of raising funds through the Red Shield Appeal. “Members of the community have shown overwhelmingly that they are prepared to give at shopping centres, sporting events and other community events as well as at their front door. There has also been an increase in online donations over the past years. But there remains real benefit to us in maintaining our face-to-face collections at a person’s front door.

“We also encourage Salvationists to get their friends involved in raising funds to give hope where it’s needed most. There are many tasks to be done in a Red Shield Appeal. If people find collecting difficult, they can help driving collectors to their collection area, be a counter of the money collected or assist with providing food and drinks when the collectors return. In Robyn Lewis’ story, you will see that the welcome she received when she returned from her first Red Shield Appeal as a volunteer collector so impressed her that she returned to The Salvation Army over the following weeks and found Christ.”

The Salvation Army will seek to raise $8 million nationally from this year’s community collection toward a national Red Shield Appeal target of $74 million. Other donations will be raised through the corporate sector and mail appeals. The community doorknock will take place on the weekend of 28-29 May. For more information, go to


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