Red Shield appeal ready to roll
Before buckethead season descends on us, there will simply be buckets. Spade-loads of buckets – wielded by a small army of volunteers collecting for the annual Red Shield appeal in support of the Salvation Army.
Taking place on city streets from next Monday May 2, cash raised during the week-long appeal will go towards maintaining the Sallies’ community services.
‘‘Last year the Palmerston North City Corps raised $18,500 towards our ongoing work,’’ appeal co-ordinator Errol Marker says. ‘‘During 2015, we distributed over 1900 food parcels, and provided approximately 2500 community meals.
‘‘We also operate a men’s hostel, disability group, and a budgeting advice service, and provide counselling and social workers to assist with our Social Detox Rehabilitation programme.’’
Collectors from the Feilding and Kelvin Grove Corps will also be out collecting on the streets.
However, to cover the eight city collection sites, which include outside supermarkets during the week and around The Square on Friday 6 and Saturday 7, more people are needed to help out on the one and two-hour shifts.
The short shift options recognise that people are not always available to spend lengthier periods as collectors, but may be able to fit in pockets of time around their daily schedules.
‘‘We provide return transport if required, and arrange table, chairs and the necessary identification and collection equipment at each site,’’ Errol says.
Newly appointed city Corps Officer, Stewart Lee says the collection is all about helping others in need.
‘‘I have the sense that the gap between the haves and the havenots seems to be growing, and I’ve been shocked by the numbers of people coming in for assistance.’’
While these numbers vary, Stu says it’s not uncommon for 15 people to come in for food assistance during the course of a day, and sometimes there are more.
Volunteers wanting to assist can phone 358 7455.
Red Shield collection organiser Errol Marker gets the buckets and signage ready for next week’s Salvation Army appeal in Palmerston North.