AS more and more families struggle to make ends meet in Orange and across the nation, the work of not-for-profit organisations has never been more important.
In general terms, our country has never been richer, and almost right across the board our standard of living continues to improve. But these gains and opportunities have not been distributed fairly in our community.
Statistics show that in a typical week in Australia, The Salvation Army provides 100,000 meals for those in need, 2000 beds for the homeless, distribute up to 8000 grocery vouchers and provide refuge for 500 people fleeing abuse.
But their front-line services are always under pressure, and it goes without saying that with the amount of meals and beds they supply, it takes a lot of financial support to keep it going.
For this reason, it was heartening to see and hear of so many Orange residents opening their doors – then their wallets and purses – over the three days of the Red Shield Appeal.
With millions of Australians living on the margins – and plenty of them in and on our city’s streets – the work of the Salvos is vital.
Orange has a proud history of supporting the annual door-knocking cause, being the nation’s highest-donating regional centre on more than one occasion.
While the weekend’s fundraising tally is still unknown at this point, the fact that organisers were targeting a whopping $60,000 speaks volumes of the expected generosity of residents.
Orange’s secret to successful fundraising lies in the number of volunteers on the ground, those who give up their time to hit the streets and knock on doors, covering a massive area.
In contrast, many towns and cities are only able to attract enough volunteers to cover certain parts of their town or city.
Every year we rely on the enthusiasm of school students, who are hailed as the stars of the show. What is even more encouraging is that when the current crop of year 12 students graduate, another group will step up to take their place.
Orange is also extremely fortunate to have a dedicated fundraising committee with a long history of commitment from the business community and service clubs.
With the slogan ‘Hope where it’s needed most’ the Red Shield Appeal deserved our support. Thank God for the Salvos indeed ...