• Gold Coast Salvos step up
By Simone Worthing
As the South East Queensland community cleans up from the Christmas night and New Year severe storms and rainfall event, The Salvation Army’s Gold Coast Temple teams have been busy doing what they can to assist those most impacted.
After the intense rain had eased, corps members Michelle and John led the Salvation Army Emergency Services (SAES) response at the Nerang Evacuation Centre, providing meals to those impacted by the flash flooding in that area. Volunteers came from Tweed Heads (Northern NSW), and Warwick (178km west of the Gold Coast). Their service included one very late-night operation, preparing to serve a busload of teenagers who had been evacuated from a camp.
Volunteers from the corps’ SAES team also supported Adam Cole (SAES Response Coordinator – Southern Qld), providing meals at the Upper Coomera Recovery Hub.
“In consultation with the Department of Communities, it was determined that this expression of care might boost the spirits of those waiting for assessments,” said Major Earle Ivers, Gold Coast Temple Corps Officer.
Response to Council
“Our teams have also responded to a request from the Gold Coast City Council in the preparation and distribution of food hampers to residents experiencing significant hardship in the days following the storms,” said Earle. “Council representatives had been doorknocking in impacted areas and had identified the elevated need. The first hampers were prepared and distributed to residents in Coombabah earlier this week.
“Yesterday, teams packed 100 hampers in response to a request from the council for distribution in the Lower Beechmont area, 25km west of the Gold Coast. Council representatives will take responsibility for that task given the accessibility issues that are currently involved.”
For hamper supplies, the corps engaged with a Coles supermarket that had supported volunteers collecting for The Salvation Army Christmas Appeal during the festive season. “The supermarket had also initiated a collection of non-perishable goods just before Christmas, and much of this was used in preparing the first round of hampers,” Earle explained. “Then two of our volunteers, Sue and Karen, literally stripped many of the supermarket’s shelves to gather [the remaining] necessary supplies.
“There have been considerable challenges to overcome in an exercise of this scope, and the collaboration has been a true blessing. Thank you to our wonderful volunteers who have made this expression of community service possible.”
To read more about The Salvation Army's response in South East Queensland, including a visit by Commissioner Miriam Gluyas, Territorial Commander, click here.