THE Salvation Army is seeking volunteers across the South East for its biggest annual door-knock to date, the Red Shield Appeal.
Over the past year the charity has supported over 38,000 people experiencing homelessness, 14,000 who are overcoming addiction and have provided over 50,000 financial counselling sessions.
Salvation Army Mount Gambier Corps Major Pam Marshall said the need for more Red Shield Appeal volunteers came as the cost of living continues to put pressure on South East families.
With only a small band of volunteers currently, Major Marshall urged community groups and sporting clubs to get behind the charity and help support the growing number of single people finding it hard to get by.
“The money that we gather from the Red Shield Appeal does go back into the Mount Gambier community,” Major Marshall said.
“It supports our resources such as our community sport, financial counselling and our no-interest loans for those in need.”
Major Marshall said rising living expenses are causing far more people to turn to the organisation for help.
“We have had people sleeping in their cars in the parking lot who just needed a bit of food and a few extra blankets,” she said.
“With the winter months coming up, we are going to get quite busy.”
Also seeking extra food support and blanket donations, the organisation is getting ready for winter with homelessness becoming more common.
“The stability which used to be in the economy is no longer there and the gap between earning and living just keeps getting bigger,” Major Marshall said.
“Those who are homeless which includes couch surfing and sleeping in their car are finding it more difficult.
“Then there are those with mental health issues who are struggling to cope with society.”
Major Marshall said the Red Shield Appeal was a fun and simple way residents can make a difference in alleviating hardship.
“Hardship does not discriminate, more Australians from all walks of life are turning to the Salvation Army for help and we need the public’s support now to ensure we can continue to help those doing it tough,” she said.
The appeal will run on May 25 and 26.