Riverlands hosts Christmas in July
Christmas in July is often thought of as an opportunity to enjoy a traditional British hot roast dinner and fun celebration in the middle of an Australian winter. It’s also an excuse to get together with friends and family and dust off the Christmas tree and decorations for a mid-year airing.
Salvos in different parts of the country are celebrating Christmas in July for all kinds of reasons. Check out last weekend’s event at Riverland Salvos (SA) below.
A Christmas in July quiz night, complete with a silent auction, trading table and Father Christmas giving out fun gifts, was one of the many fundraisers the Riverland (SA) Salvos are hosting this year to ensure continued operation of their community outreach programs.
“Funds raised include assisting seasonal workers with food and other necessities when they are between jobs, community meals, Christmas toys and hampers for around 400 families, back-to-school programs, and a ready supply of food on hand in case of emergencies,” said Helen Adamczyk, community engagement worker who also (voluntarily) leads Riverland Corps.
The Christmas in July quiz night raised $2500 for the Red Shield Appeal, and an additional $815.00 for the Riverland Christmas Appeal.
“Riverland Salvos also looks after five surrounding towns and works with other local agencies, such as mental health services provider Mind Australia, that may not have the funding available to help that we do,” she added.
“The corps has also kicked off a ‘toastie and cuppa’ event in the middle of town each Wednesday to build relationships in the community and promote Salvation Army services and create faith pathways.
“There are always projects coming our way, such as toiletry packs for the local Cadell Prison that came through our chaplain. We work in with anyone who passes our door who has a genuine need."
In response to the rising cost of living and the impact of recent floods, Riverland Salvos are seeing an increase in the number of people coming through their doors. Helen said that her team is looking to open the corps building in the evenings to provide toasties and hot drinks, as well as fruit, bread and other essentials, for those who can’t make it during the day.
The church’s strong partnership with Foodbank and contract with Second Bite (free bread and produce), as well as community donations and dedicated volunteers, help make these programs possible as well.
“Our main driver is to connect with the community, see what needs are out there and build relationships,” she said. “Faith is an amazing thing. Something always turns up,” she said.