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Kindness rules in time of uncertainty

19 March 2020

Kindness rules in time of uncertainty

As Australians grapple to keep up with changes to home, work and community life as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, The Salvation Army across the country is also facing challenges to its practices while continuing to ‘live, love and fight’ in local communities.

With the most vulnerable in society at risk of being significantly affected by the shut-downs, isolations and scarcity of essential grocery items, the need for a strong community spirit and generosity is greater than ever.

Small and large gestures of kindness are happening all over the country as people work to support others in a climate of uncertainty. Many Salvos services are also finding creative ways to continue their mission of serving others.

Salvos serve at supermarkets

When Woolworths announced an exclusive 60-minute shopping window for the elderly and those with a disability, to shop freely from 7am, they invited uniformed Salvos to assist.

Continuing their mission of supporting the most vulnerable, Salvos around the country have been helping by getting groceries back to people’s cars, pushing a trolley, retrieving items high on shelves and loading packed bags into trolleys.

Captain Tamaryn Townsend has been assisting shoppers, including Christine, at Woolworths Hurstville in NSW. "Christine was so grateful to have assistance during her shopping this morning in the dedicated shopping hour for the elderly and concession card holders. We chatted and laughed our way around the supermarket!" said Tamaryn.

"This gesture of kindness is truly appreciated, and we are very grateful to all our friends at The Salvation Army. It's these little things that can really make someone's day," said Woolworths Senior Community manager Loretta Arrastia.

Major Nicole Viles making deliveries.

Toilet roll connections

Earlier this week, Major Nicole Viles, manager of Sydney’s Stanmore House, along with her staff members, hit the streets to show support for their community. In an effort to reach out to others during the crisis, the team dropped off a gift of toilet paper and a card on people's doorsteps around their neighbourhood.

The card, which read 'If you are self-isolating we are here to help!’, contained an offer to assist with urgent supplies or a friendly phone call if needed. The team hope this small gesture of love will cut through the fear and uncertainty many people are feeling at this time.

F1 to 614

When the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix was cancelled in Melbourne at the eleventh-hour, event caterers, Atlantic Group, were left with a whole lot of food and no one to feed. F1 donation to 614.But from disappointment came an opportunity to deliver hope to people in need – The Atlantic Group donated the food to The Salvation Army’s Melbourne Project 614.

Speaking on radio station 3AW, Major Brendan Nottle said, “It’s been absolutely incredible. At times like this, I think it’s fair to say that we’ve seen the worst of our community. But I think when it comes to catering and to food, we’ve also seen the best of our community too … people have just been really committed to making sure nothing goes to waste and gets to the right people.”

Freshly shucked oysters, pork belly, couscous, sauces and much more were delivered to 614. The fresh food was cooked up and served at the centre’s café, which caters to people experiencing homelessness. The rest was frozen for later use. Brendan is hoping to keep the café at 614 open for as long as possible but if a time comes where they are asked to close their doors, a street outreach program will ensure the food still gets to the city’s most vulnerable.

The Salvation Army Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we meet and work and pay our respect to Elders past, present and future.

We value and include people of all cultures, languages, abilities, sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions and intersex status. We are committed to providing programs that are fully inclusive. We are committed to the safety and wellbeing of people of all ages, particularly children.

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The Salvation Army is an international movement. Our mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in his name with love and without discrimination.

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Hope where it's needed most