The Salvation Army has launched its annual Red Shield Appeal for 2014 in Victoria.
More than 540 business, government and community leaders gathered with The Salvation Army and MC Daryl Somers to mark the commencement of the appeal in Victoria. Guests included Minister for Housing Wendy Lovell, Myer CEO Bernie Brookes, Managing Director of JLL David Bowden, Harold Mitchell AC and ABC journalist John Cleary.
The launch marks the beginning of the Red Shield Appeal which raises vital funds to continue the operation of over 1000 social programmes across Australia. This year’s fundraising target is set at $80 million.
Both state and federal government have pledged their support to the appeal. On Monday Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced a leadership gift of $250,000. Minister for Housing Wendy Lovell also expressed gratitude for the work of The Salvation Army in the community and announced a $100,000 gift at yesterday’s launch.
All money raised in the Red Shield Appeal is immediately returned to the community through Salvation Army social centres and programmes. These resources enable The Salvation Army to have a life-changing impact on people experiencing hardship.
One of these people is 20-year-old Justin, introduced to guests yesterday by 2013 Melburnian of the Year Major Brendan Nottle. Justin first came into contact with the Salvos when he was nine-years-old and sleeping on the streets of Melbourne. After battling with the loss of a parent, alcohol and drug abuse and homelessness, Justin now lives in Magpie Nest Housing – a joint partnership between Collingwood Football Club and The Salvation Army.
“Justin, I get really encouraged and inspired because there have been some really tough times in your life and some real obstacles,” said Major Nottle. “The wonderful thing about you is you’ve never given up. And you’re still standing and you’re doing really well.”
Territorial Commander for The Salvation Army Australia Southern Territory Commissioner Floyd Tidd emphasised the importance of support from corporate Australia and the community to the work of the Salvos.
“Behind The Salvation Army is another army – an army of volunteers and supporters who assist us to serve those less fortunate in our communities,” he said.
- To volunteer for the Red Shield Appeal Doorknock on May 24-25 simply call 13 SALVOS (13 72 58) or register online.
- To donate to the Red Shield Appeal please call 13 SALVOS (13 72 58), donate online, donate in person at any Westpac Bank branch or by posting your cheque to PO Box 9888 in your capital city.