Elsewhere in the world
AUSTRALIA—Australians now refer to Friday, Feb. 6, 2009—the day the bushfires ignited—as “Black Friday.” Statistics report 173 lives lost with thousands more homeless.
Due to the community’s generous response—financial assistance, material aid, voluntary support and prayer—work is underway to assist the victims.
The Salvation Army received more than $17.5 million in donations, enabling the Army not only in its initial response, but also in its long-range commitment to the areas affected by the fire.
In addition to the funds and store vouchers donated, Australians gave thousands of items to Salvo Stores for distribution to the bushfire survivors.
The response to the bushfire appeal will provide support and assistance to needy communities for years to come.
CANADA—In April 2009, Manitoba’s Red River overran its banks. Although fortifications were quickly in place, the water invaded homes, displacing residents. Before the river began to recede, Salvation Army staff and volunteers in Winnipeg fed and cared for approximately 700 people, through the Army’s welcome center and emergency disaster services van.
“We anticipate that approximately 150 evacuee families will need ongoing assistance, said Captain Les Marshall, divisional secretary for public relations and development, Manitoba and Northwest Ontario Division.
Additional funds are needed to provide cleaning materials, boots and coats and to replace household appliances destroyed by the water.
In Vancouver, participants in the 10-kilometre Sun Run in March donated more than 15,000 items of running clothing to The Salvation Army. Jackets, sweatshirts and other items will be distributed among the 54 Army thrift stores in British Columbia. Allotments will also go to shelters, family services offices and summer camps.
As runners warm up, they often shed layers of clothing. This year, The Salvation Army asked participants to donate by discarding their extra clothing at the starting line.
Yearly, the Army’s stores in Canada recycle more than 100 million pounds of clothing articles, with proceeds used to fund the Army’s many social services including addiction treatment programs, homeless shelters, safe housing for domestic violence victims, senior care, family services and summer camp programs.
UK—During the recession, with more people holding onto their clothing and household items longer, the Salvation Army Trading Company Ltd (SATCoL) devised a plan they hoped would encourage customers to keep on donating.
They tested the plan in one of their stores, offering a bag for sale—“bag for life”—at a price of approximately 99 cents. The customer returns the bag to the store full of donated clothing and receives an in-store voucher for approximately $2.00. The bags are black with the Army’s red shield and the logo “re:bag” printed across them along with the motto “re:think.re:claim.re:use.”
Results after a month’s trial showed about 50 percent of bags sold were returned within days with donated items. The customer then retained the bag for future donations.
On average, customers gave at least 10 items of clothing per bag—a significant value for the stores.
SATCoL is planning to launch the plan it its remaining stores.