2 July 2018
Over the past year, the power of your giving has most certainly transformed lives and given hope where it was needed most.
“The Salvos came into my life when everything went out of control. I was diagnosed with ME [myalgic encephalomyelitis – a type of chronic fatigue syndrome that saps energy]. They helped us find housing. They helped sort out the power bills. When we had no food, they supplied us with groceries so I could cook for the kids. They offered me counseling, helped me get to the hospital for my appointments, even got me a medic alert bracelet.
They are just the loveliest people.”
“I was at the lowest point of my entire life. Everything felt so incredibly bleak. I was almost 60 and everything was gone. Out of everything I’d worked for, nothing was left. I just thought what will I do now? My life is over. I had no living family, no training except 25 years helping run the business, nothing to go back to. By helping the Salvos you’re a light to people like me. In my darkest the Salvos cared. They were just lovely.
Without their welfare support and services, you’d at best have many more people destitute. I understand now that when it gets that bad, there’s no hope. That was the main thing for me. With the Salvos finally there was hope.”
“Living in a remote rural area always has its challenges, but after the floods two years back, then the drought, now Alice’s accident … we’d be lucky to keep the electricity on, let alone buy presents. There’d be no smiles on Christmas morning. The kids were great, saying ‘We understand, we understand’… but I felt I’d let my family down. I was desperate for help when I reached out to the Salvos. When the Salvos help arrived, I was totally lost for words. Knowing people care about you is a real comfort. It brings back hope when you need it most.”
Eighteen cents. That’s all Sue had when she came to The Salvation Army. Two daughters, an abusive ex-partner, and the 18 cents left in their joint account after he drained it.
Sue was cared for by Salvo team member, Rose: “Rose gave us a food hamper, presents for the girls, and clothing. When things got really hard, she organised to have our bills paid. It was a huge help with Christmas being so close and us having absolutely nothing. I couldn’t believe people could be so kind.”
Chris & Sam
Chris and Sam lost their farm from a catastrophic bushfire … leaving them devastated and with nothing. “Watching your kids’ faces, and seeing them trying to come to grips with what’s happened. It’s just overwhelming.” As Rusty and Di Lawson (Salvos Chaplains) know only too well, “When people who care come along, and listen, and help, it offers a glimpse of hope, and all of a sudden there’s light, and then that light starts to expand. It can be the difference between life and death.”
It only takes a couple of things to go wrong in life for income to stop. For Jodie, it was when she had to become a full-time carer for her husband after his car accident, and her young son with severe autism. Jodie told us: “There are so many days I do not have a single cent to my name. There’s a lot of saying ‘no’ to your children – It’s heartbreaking. We have leaned on The Salvation Army for help because we don’t have very much family support in our area. We had to get help, and they were terrific. I’ll keep doing the best that I can. I'm pretty proud of what I’m doing. I feel like I have nothing much to give except love … so I just try to give as much of that as I can.”
“Growing up in domestic violence relationship … all I wanted desperately was to be loved. I pursued perfection but was always unable to please …” said Damian. “YOS has provided a safe environment for me to work towards my goals and progress. It’s the safety net allowing me to make mistakes and learn from them in a safe, accepting environment.”