In past years, the Salvos would recruit an army of 40,0000 volunteers to champion the cause through the annual Doorknock Weekend campaign. However, Covid-19 required a radical and swift change to an online peer-to-peer experience.
Registered volunteers called on their family, friends and connections to support them in lieu of going door-to-door, being at intersections, community sports venues and shopping malls.
From Friday to Monday, the digital tally reached $2.1 million and included a matching pledge of $500,000 from Nicola and Andrew Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation.
The same four-day progressive total last year was $4.2 million. The community-based fundraising will continue to the end of June in the push towards a target of $7.9 million.
The Salvation Army’s Secretary for Communications, Neil Venables (Lt Col) said, “We appreciate every gift and would encourage Australians to donate at salvationarmy.org.au – Indications are that Salvation Army community support services are yet to see peak demand from the economic impact of COVID-19”.
The Red Shield Appeal seeks Australians’ help for the year-round work of the Salvos in supporting the most vulnerable in our communities. The appeal underpins the Salvos support for Australians facing homelessness and rough-sleeping, poverty, family and domestic violence and addiction. It also provides a standing capability to muster a rapid response to support emergency services and evacuees with food, water and personal care packs.
Lt Col Venables noted, “The need to take 55 years of door knocking tradition into the online space at short notice was daunting. Aussies have shown true heart for their community.”
“We thank all those who volunteered and donated, along with the Forrest family’s Minderoo Foundation which took a leading position in encouraging Australians to give in support of those doing it tough.”
The Red Shield Appeal is open until June 30 and more information can be found here.