Salvo’s call for help

The need in Noosa for Salvation Army services has increased 40 per cent in the past year.

Margie Maccoll

The need in Noosa for Salvation Army services has increased 40 per cent in the past year said spokeswoman Penelope Lena who with her committee, ‘The Motley Crew’, last week launched the organisation’s 60th Red Shield Appeal at a breakfast at Sunshine Beach Surf Life Saving Club.

“The need is high,” Penelope said.

Salvation Army across the country is receiving a call for help every 17 seconds.

In Noosa the need is broad but standing out to the committee is assistance required by domestic violence victims, a considerable number of women over 55 years who are dealing with homelessness, sleeping in their cars or sleeping roughly, and families trying to get kids back to school, Penelope said.

“From a personal point of view some of the women coming in that need help wouldn’t look out of place in Bistro C. What ‘in need’ looks like is not a person on the side of the road begging for money,” she said.

The Motley Crew, a group made up of members of different backgrounds and ages, with a shared view of being able to help because they can, and finding doing something without expecting anything in return to be very satisfying.

Penelope said with more than 300 voluntary organisations operating in Noosa, “all good causes”, the crew try to think outside the square to raise funds.

This year for their major fundraiser they decided on an early breakfast to not impose on attendees’ busy days with an array of entertaining guests.

With local sponsors including Bridgestone Noosaville covering the fundraising event costs, all money raised at the breakfast, expected to be about $45,000 will go to help people in the Noosa-Coolum area, Penelope said.

“This year we had full attendance of 170 guests which included business people and a lot of individuals,” she said.

The man behind Sydney’s successful Olympics 2000 bid and prominent business, legal and sports administration professional Rod McGeoch was guest speaker, telling the audience how he had not forgotten as a child, his father telling him to support the Salvos and of their far-reaching areas of help.

A panel of guests followed to discuss Noosa Salvo projects including its Thrive Cafe initiative which trains young people for employment and provides work experience as well as a school program to reconnect kids who had become disengaged for varying reasons such as difficult home environments.

“People could see this is where their contributions were going toward,” Penelope said.

New national research by the Salvation Army highlighted the depths of the cost-of-living crisis, with 94 per cent of respondents saying they are struggling to afford essentials, such as housing, groceries, medical care, and utilities.

Sixty-three per cent of respondents had skipped meals and 45 per cent had to choose between paying for housing or buying food. Shockingly, the research also found over 1 in 4 (27 per cent) of respondents were forced to consume expired or spoiled food, while 1 in 20 had to eat food from rubbish bins.

A 33-year-old mother who accessed support told them she was having to constantly borrow money off friends due to not being able to buy essentials, having to go days without eating to feed her kids, and cancelling specialist appointments.

Noosa’s Salvation Army Captain Matthew Gluyas said the numbers of people needing help was frightening.

“In a lucky country like Australia, individuals and families shouldn’t have to make these sorts of decisions, like choosing whether to eat, pay rent or send your kids to the doctor. But these are the people the Salvos help every day as we try to give a new beginning to those struggling in our community,” he said.

Another fundraising event will be held on 20 June at Boiling Pot, Noosaville, sponsored by owner Scott Madill, that will include an auction of various sought-after prizes and raffles.

All funds raised locally will remain in the local community, allowing the Salvos to meet the specific needs of the most disadvantaged and marginalised members of our region.

To donate or for more information visit or calling 13 SALVOS. You can also donate at any Salvos Store.