Salvation Army Major Darren Elsley demonstrates the spirit of giving to Banora Point collector Beryl Maina in the lead-up to the Red Shield Appeal Door Knock.
Salvation Army Major Darren Elsley demonstrates the spirit of giving to Banora Point collector Beryl Maina in the lead-up to the Red Shield Appeal Door Knock. Yvonne Gardiner

Salvation Army knocks on doors to save lives

AT 86 years of age, Salvation Army soldier Beryl Maina embodies the selfless devotion that enhances any community.

For about eight years, she’s been a collector for the army’s annual Red Shield Appeal.

"I do my village at Banora Point, which is about 124 units," she said.

"Because of the age group, they’ve been through the war and they know what the Salvation Army did during the war.

"They respond very generously."

Beryl is also on the appeal collection roster at Bunnings, Banora Point; she works at the Salvos’ Kingscliff family store, cooks for Wednesday night community dinners, and visits people to check they’re okay.

"It’s a helping-hand community," she said.

"I’m now a Salvation Army soldier because of the work they do.

"I’ve always helped people in some ways. I like the Christian attitude.

"I came to the exercise classes and found such friendship and thought, ‘I think I want to be part of this’."

The Salvation Army has 500 volunteers but needs another 500 to collect throughout the Northern Rivers for the 2016 Red Shield Appeal Door Knock on May 28 and 29.

Fundraising and public relations manager Rowan Johnstone said there were still streets in the area that needed local volunteers to doorknock in.

"Volunteers can have a fun few hours with family or friends doing the doorknock through local streets, or they can choose a community collection point in their local area," he said. Woolworths supermarkets, Bunnings stores and local shopping centres are collection points that need volunteers.

"We are calling our volunteers ‘hope givers’ this year, as they are much more to us than someone giving of their time for a cause. They are literally changing lives with us," Rowan said.

"Every hour they are able to collect for us means more money to buy food to put in people’s mouths when they are hungry; beds for those at night that don’t have them, or support for a parent and their children fleeing a violent situation.

"Every dollar raised makes a difference."

The Red Shield Appeal will run from Monday, May 23, to Sunday, June 5.

To register as a volunteer, call 1800885332.


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