by S Lowe 5THE FM newsonlinewattlerangenow
The Salvos Emergency Relief Officer Marl Domaschenz spoke with 5THE FM this morning about the Salvos role in caring for people in need in the Millicent area including the Salvos annual Red Shield Appeal. This week the Millicent Salvos Emergency Relief work received a much needed boost to their resources through the generosity of Millicent Lions.
Ms Domaschenz and Ms Dulcie Wilson were invited to speak at the Lions meeting on Tuesday of this week, about the Salvos work in Millicent and were surprised and overwhelmed when Lions President Des Nolls presented them with a cheque for $1000-00 for food and vouchers for their emergency relief program which operates from the Salvos store in George Street every Wednesday from 9-30 am to 11-00 am.
“The demograhics have changed,” Ms Domaschenz said, “we see more people who have had their hours reduced and are just unable to manage to provide the necessities for their families. It is no longer just people who are unemployed, it is more difficult for many in our ocmmunity.”
The Millicent Salvos program has an allocated budget of $230-00 per week to assist local people doing it tough and it isn’t always enough, she said.
“We have no cash and we do not give cash out but we give vouchers to be presented at the local supermarket in exchange for food. Since I have been working in this role, the most people I have seen in a 2 hour period is 17 and just this Wednesday I saw 14 people who needed emergency help and the ages of the people we help can range from 17 to 70 years of age..”
“Recently I had a young couple come to see me who were sleeping in their car until they could get a flat and even after they got the flat, they slept in swags because they had no household items at all. I was able to give them a voucher to get some basics from the Salvos thrift shop.”
Ms Domaschenz went on to say that all vouchers distributed from the weekly allocation must be accounted for at head office and she has to be careful not to overspend regardless of the needs of the people she sees.
Millicent has no emergency housing and Ms Domaschenz cannot help with cash but she can point people in the direction of other agencies and there is a 1800 number that she can direct them too for further assistance.
“We would like to help more but resources are limited and that shows in what so many of us think of as necessities, become non-essential when we are talking about emergency assistance.”
“For example we give soap but not shampoo and conditioner, we give breakfast cereals, pasta, tuna and items that will make a meal. We give a single toilet roll but not tissues as they are deemed non-essential in an emergency situation.”
Women’s feminine hygiene products items are not provided in the emergency care but Ms Domaschenz said if people would like to contribute items to the Salvos emergency care of local people, these could be included and left at the Salvos Thrift Store clearly Marked that they are for the Emergency Relief Program.
People are often embarrassed about their personal situation but they should not be as any of us could be int he same position. “All it takes is for illness or unemployment to hit us and any of us could be in the same situation.”
The Millicent Lions donation will not go to headquarters but will be spent entirely in Millicent and will help local people in need.
Any one needing help can call into the Salvos Thrift Shop and see Ms Domaschenz on Wednesdays from 9-30 to 11-00 am and if you would like to help with donations they can also be dropped off at the Thrift Shop in George Street.