Compassion for Christmas
2 December 2013
“It is so wonderful to be able to say to our clients, you just concentrate on keeping your bills paid and we’ll organise Christmas.” – Rosemary Campbell
The proud woman sitting across the table from Salvation Army community welfare worker Rosemary Campbell wept as she was told she was going to have “a beautiful Christmas”.
Each year Nambour Salvos South Queensland is privileged to be able to tell more than 150 struggling clients that Christmas will be taken care of.
Although Rosemary is passionate about supporting those in need throughout the year, organising a special Christmas for clients is her favourite job.
Backing the Salvos is “the most generous community ever”, says Rosemary. Among the support is the Sunshine Coast Daily newspaper which encourages locals to ‘Adopt a Family’ at Christmas, and Aussie World, which opens its doors free every year to Salvation Army clients and others at Christmas.
Circle of care
Rosemary, herself, was a recipient of support from the Salvos for a time, after her marriage broke up and she was left struggling to raise four children.
Rosemary remembers, “My youngest one used to go to school with holes in his shoes. You struggle and go from one pay to another and think ‘where am I going to get the money to pay this bill?’”
Rosemary did not at first approach the Salvos for help, but rather came in contact through the children’s SAGALA program. This led to volunteering in a number of roles, including Salvo Care Line. Today she is employed for 18 hours a week, but works many more as a volunteer.
For a time when her children were young, Salvos staff insisted that Rosemary, too, accept some help at Christmas. “The Salvation Army stood beside me and helped us for quite a few Christmases while the kids were growing up,” she says.
“You try and make Christmas as happy as possible, but you still have that feeling inside that you’re not giving your kids what you’d love to be able to give them.
“You worry you’re not going to be able to put the food on the table and hearing your kids talking about what other kids have been given, makes you feel ... heartbroken.”
Rosemary says knowing someone cares, can help make “Christmas a very special time.”