Good eggs help Salvos

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Australian program supports Salvo’s Rural Chaplaincy Service.

In an effort to address rural isolation and support farmers, The Salvation Army in Australia and Free-Range Egg Farms (FREF) have partnered to raise funds for the Salvo’s Rural Chaplaincy Service.

During March, April and May, 10 cents from every carton of FREF Omega-3 enriched free range “ecoeggs” sold, will be donated exclusively to the chaplaincy service, which operates in remote and isolated areas of NSW (New South Wales), ACT (Australia’s Capital Territory) and QLD (Queensland).

“This campaign is all about farmers helping farmers,” said Major Susan Reese, spokesperson for The Salvation Army Eastern Territory (comprised of the three areas above). “The owners and workers of the FREF are farmers themselves, so they understand the importance of supporting our rural communities,” she said.

In November 2008, the ABC news reported that the suicide rate among male farmers was almost 50 percent higher than the average in rural communities.

“While drought had been widely acknowledged as a leading cause of depression and suicide,” said Dr Keith Miller from the school of social work at Flinders University in Adelaide, “the broader issue is the change in the way rural people are living.”

“There is increasing social isolation with increasing farm sizes, increasing work loads and diminishing contact with neighbors,” he said.

The Salvation Army employs rural chaplains across Australia, who conduct regular visits to individual properties and rural areas to offer pastoral care, emotional support, or practical assistance.

“People need support from one another, whether that is a listening ear or a hand of friendship. We fly, drive or truck out to them and offer a network of support that they otherwise may not receive,” said Major Reese.
Reprinted from the Australian Warcry, April 11, 2009

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