Salvos help meet essential needs
8 April 2020
ABC Tissue has donated 1600 cartons of Quilton toilet paper to The Salvation Army as part of a generous campaign pledging 1 million rolls for charities to deliver to people who need it most.
“The Salvos were nominated by many hundreds of people as their preferred charity to receive some of the 1 million toilet rolls donated by Quilton," said campaign spokesperson Matthew Ngai.
“Clearly the amazing work Salvos do to help elderly and vulnerable Australians had touched many of their supporter’s hearts.”
Pallet-loads of toilet paper have been delivered to Salvos depots around Australia. The rolls are being distributed by Salvos to people and families facing disadvantage and can’t access essential supplies during the COVID-19 crisis.
At a time when the gift of a toilet roll has become a symbol of generosity and goodwill, the distribution of such a large quantity goes a long way in providing comfort and easing anxieties for many who are unable to access basic essentials at this time.
Keeping up connections
The Salvation Army is well-placed in the service of providing vulnerable community members with basic essentials to help with day-to-day living. Every day, Salvos services right around the country assist people in need.
The urgency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that there are now more people relying on extra assistance, contact and support while coping with the stressful conditions of isolation.
Salvos at Morley Corps in Perth have been connecting with their community in a variety of ways during the COVID-19 pandemic. Its emergency relief has continued with assistance managed mainly through phone interviews. The corps reception is open and operating under social distancing regulations and is a place where community members who need help can pick up donated bread and other food items.
Morley emergency relief workers have been contacting older and vulnerable emergency relief clients to touch base with them and making up and distributing care packages for them, with toiletries, food, books, DVDs, etc.
“For us, the main thing is to maintain a connection with older and vulnerable people in our corps community and the wider community who don’t have computers or internet access, so maintaining our connections with them is important,” said Morley Corps Officer Major Warren Elliot. “They are really missing connecting with us through our normal weekly groups.”
Caring for community
In Victoria, Major Narelle Jacobsen from ‘The Well’ at St Kilda Chapel organised care packages for vulnerable community members. The packs included handwritten notes of hope and encouragement, recipes, prayers, food and other household supplies, tips on self-care during self-isolation, as well as living succulents to represent ‘caring for something so that it may flourish’.
Twenty-five packs were made and delivered and it’s hoped this will continue in the weeks ahead as well as the team working with the nearby Salvation Army Youth Accommodation and Outreach Services.
“It was a heart-warming experience to brighten up someone’s day and to see joy and surprise on their faces,” Narelle said. “We found it hard to keep our distance at times as some are faced with real challenges and were emotional when they saw the care package. Everyone was so grateful.”
In South Australia, The Salvation Army Noarlunga Corps is serving those in the community who require assistance or are unable to leave their homes.
“Through our community support service, we are delivering food hampers to isolated people if they are shut-in,” said Noarlunga Corps Officer Captain Robert Casburn. “I belong to the local Rotary Club and it’s great to partner with them.”
He said he expected the need would increase as the period of isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic increased.
At Port Lincoln, The Salvation Army has started a drive-through welfare service. Corps Officer Captain Darryn Lloyd said it’s working well: “We ask people when they come to see us on a Monday or Wednesday morning to stay in their car and I go out and have a chat to them and provide assistance in that way.
“We’re still keeping the doors open in this new way, we’re still serving people like we’ve always done, we’re just innovating the serving in new ways.”
The corps is also delivering hampers of food staples for those who phone through for assistance.
Meeting the needs of families
In Lake Macquarie, NSW, Auxiliary-Lieutenant Tracy Iles has said the COVID-19 situation left her reflecting on a previous role at Raymond Terrace in the Hunter Region, several years ago.
“When I first started at Raymond Terrace they had major floods and all the corps-social mission work started with that disaster. I feel like it’s happening again here at Westlakes, but just in a different way.”
The corps has adapted its work and partnered with local agencies to care for the community during this time of isolation and uncertainty. They have also connected with nine local primary schools and asked if Salvos could care for any families in need of support. “The schools were so excited and we now have a list of 16 families who have been referred from schools or other services,” said Tracy.
“Once a week we contact each family and assess their needs. We have delivered kids packs, spiritual packs and food hampers. The response has been wonderful with families being so grateful and wanting to stay connected.”
Corps (church) members are active in delivering hampers every day and calling about 150 households a week.
“One man rings us daily to have a chat. He got emotional when we first got in contact with him and said, ‘I just wanted to hear someone’s voice’. People are lonely and they were probably lonely before this but we have found a new way to engage with them.