Help REIWA and the Salvos spread joy this Christmas

7 November 2023

"More than 50 REIWA agencies in the metropolitan area as well as in Albany, Dunsborough and Kalgoorlie will be collecting donations of non-perishable food items and unwrapped gifts for the Appeal."

REIWA is once again getting behind The Salvation Army’s Christmas Appeal, with those in crisis needing more support than ever this year, REIWA CEO Cath Hart announced today.

“The Christmas Appeal is just one of the vital community programs that REIWA supports through its philanthropic Community REInvest program, as part of its long-term partnership with the Salvos, allowing them to continue their vital work in WA,” Ms Hart said.

From now until Monday 4 December, more than 50 REIWA agencies in the metropolitan area as well as in Albany, Dunsborough and Kalgoorlie will be collecting donations of non-perishable food items and unwrapped gifts for the Appeal. REIWA House in Subiaco is also a collection point.

Ms Hart said Christmas was expected to be a more challenging time for many families this year.

“Increases in the cost of living, interest rates, and house and rent prices have made the past 12 months financially challenging for many. But it’s been even harder for some families and individuals, and support agencies like The Salvation Army are facing increasing demand for their services,” she said.

“Western Australians are renowned for their generosity, community spirit and willingness to help others, even when they themselves are facing tough times, and it’s these traits we’re asking people to embrace to share some Christmas cheer with the more vulnerable members of our community.

“Whether that’s buying a gift voucher for a teenager, going through your pantry for non-perishable items you can donate, raiding your present cupboard for new toys or gifts for young children to receive – The Salvation Army and thousands of children and families will be grateful for any assistance you can provide.”

Every Christmas The Salvation Army witnesses the acute needs being faced by Western Australians doing it tough, but 2023 is expected to be more challenging.

“In the last six months, we have seen a 60 per cent increase in the need for intensive support and a 40 per cent increase in those seeking immediate relief, and this is before we enter the difficult Christmas period,” The Salvation Army spokesperson Warren Palmer said.

“With the need for support being greater than ever, our partnership with REIWA and Community REInvest members will help us continue to do all we can to address the significant level of stress we are witnessing and bring some relief to those who are struggling this Christmas.”

For a full list of gift ideas and non-perishable food suggestions, visit the REIWA Community REInvest web page. Alternatively, if you are time-poor or prefer to avoid shopping, monetary donations are always welcome online at the Salvos.

Ms Hart said the Christmas Appeal was just part of the work REIWA members did throughout the year to support the more vulnerable in the community via the Community REInvest program and their own efforts.

“As part of the Community REInvest program, our members regularly help serve lunch to those in need at The Salvation Army Headquarters, and will be setting up and serving a Christmas lunch again this December,” she said.

“They take part in the Salvos Christmas Cheer week – helping sort and display donations and then guiding people through choosing gifts for Christmas. It gives them a great deal of pleasure and is very personal for many of them.

“Last year was my first involvement with our Christmas activities with the Salvos I was moved by the stories from REIWA members who took part.

“There was a young property manager who said her parents didn’t have much when she was growing up and she and her brother always looked forward to the arrival of the Salvos Christmas hamper. She really got behind the appeal, enlisting the support of surrounding businesses and her office was overflowing with donations. 

“And another young agent mentioned his mother, who is now a very successful agent, was a single mum who relied on Salvation Army hampers at one point. He understood the value of giving to the appeal and was very enthusiastic about taking part.

“It just shows that anyone could need help at some point in their life and the work The Salvation Army does is extremely important.”

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