Standing together in need
14 October 2014
Leilani’s family were sleeping on their damp floor when Major Owen Pattison and his wife Captain Pam Pattison of The Salvation Army stopped by and offered the family of five emergency assistance.
Their house in Emerald had been flooded. They moved as much furniture to higher ground as possible, but most was ruined.
Captain Pam Pattison recalls, “Leilani was trying to be very positive, but was just distressed like everyone else as to how they were going to manage, and what was going to happen next and how long it was going to take ... We were able to give her some help straight away.”
The Pattisons doorknocked the streets of Emerald offering food vouchers to families who had lost most or all of their possessions in the floods. Eligible families like Leilani’s were given grants to buy the household goods they needed for life to begin to return to some semblance of normality.
Leilani says, “We were able to get a queen-sized bed for us and another single bed ... so everyone had beds because of The Salvation Army. We were also able to get a new fridge which was awesome because we were living out of an esky ... and then we just replaced things like cupboards and storage space like dressers and drawers.”
Receiving the grant simply helped relieve some of the pressure. Many families in Emerald didn’t have insurance, or were unable to receive the money they had hoped for from their insurers. Other assistance involved considerable delays while assessment was undertaken. The Salvation Army sent workers to the streets to meet people and provide immediate assistance.
Leilani says, “The Salvation Army was right there in the forefront at the right time being able to give people assistance where it was needed.”