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Red-letter day approaching for Brian

 Red-letter day approaching for Brian

Red-letter day approaching for Brian

22 May 2018

Collecting for the Red Shield Appeal has been a part of life for Brian Hallett (pictured centre) since he was a young boy.

By Barry Gittins

Life is cyclical; it has its seasons and signposts, and we tend to measure time by how they come and go. For Melbourne Salvationist Brian Hallett, one of the telltale signs of winter is the annual Red Shield Appeal doorknock. 

“It’s been a part of my life, collecting for The Salvation Army,” says Brian (pictured right), who works as the Australia Southern territorial director of community relations. “I am 52, I was born in 1966, and we started the Red Shield Appeal here in Australia in 1965. I can remember going out with my mum as a young boy, knocking on doors and ringing on doorbells.”

Through the ensuing decades, each year Brian has turned up to ask Aussies to help the Salvos help Aussies through the Red Shield Appeal. He’s stood at intersections and hiked up and down flights of stairs. He’s played musical instruments, climbed steep hills and jumped muddy puddles. He’s been rained on, hailed on, hit up for help occasionally, and even had the odd conversation with puppy dogs. 

As a Christian and a Salvo, Brian sees the appeal of the national fundraiser. “I rock up to church on Sunday, and I hear stories of how Salvation Army services help people who are homeless, or fighting addictions, or are unable to feed their kids,” he explains.

“We can’t all be on the frontlines, doing the work of The Salvation Army, the ‘helping’ mission. But the Red Shield Appeal is one way of funding that mission, and I choose to give some hours of my life, each year, to see it happen.    

“Sometimes the people we meet when we knock on doors have needs beyond our own ability to help them, but that’s the beauty of The Salvation Army –we can connect them to people who can help them.”

This year the Red Shield Appeal doorknock is being held on Saturday and Sunday 26-27 May. The aim is to raise $7.5 million, to help fund Salvation Army social work. That figure is part of the overall fundraising target of $73 million.

It is a big ask of Australians, to put money behind the good works of the Salvos. And collecting for the appeal can be seen as a big effort in busy times. But Brian Hallett, as man and boy, knows that it’s an effort that is worth making.  

The Salvation Army's 2018 Red Shield Appeal will be held 26-27 May. 

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