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• RSA launch goes ‘retail’


Shieldy made an appearance at the 2508 Salvos Red Shield Appeal business breakfast at Helensburgh Salvos Store. Shieldy is with 2508 Salvos volunteer Narelle Gurney.

For what is believed to be the first time in Australia, a Red Shield Appeal business launch has been held at a Salvos Store, with the local corps and store personnel working together for local mission.

 

2508 Salvos – a Community of Hope based in the small community of Helensburgh, just south of Sydney – operates many of its programs from its local Salvos Store.

 

“We don’t have a building,” says Mission Leader Lauren Martin. “We are a relatively new missional community, so we operate on very little funding, only money that’s raised in our local community. The Salvos Store is a great place to do mission because everyone in town knows and loves our store, and the store manager, staff and volunteers are really supportive. 


The 2508 Salvos Red Shield Appeal launch business was held at the local Helensburgh Salvos Store.

“So, it made sense that when we were thinking about holding our very first Red Shield Appeal business launch, we would hold it at the store.”

 

The Red Shield Appeal launch was a team effort. 2508 Salvos organised the invitations, testimonial speakers, a musician and volunteers. Salvos Stores area management offered to pay for the breakfast food items that were served (lots of volunteers were recruited to donate baked goods as well!) and reconfigured the store to provide enough space for the 50 people who attended the event.

 

On the day, the store’s doors opened an hour early for the launch. Those who attended from local businesses, partner organisations and churches heard about the work of 2508 Salvos and from local residents whom The Salvation Army had supported.

 

Two years ago, I found myself at rock bottom … I had never endured such a difficult and lonely path,” one woman shared. “That’s when I started my journey with The Salvation Army and the journey to rebuilding my life. Although that’s still in progress, I know I will always be supported by The Salvation Army.” 


Shire Salvos Mission Leader Mark Soper speaks at the 2508 Salvos Red Shield Appeal Business Launch at the Helensburgh Salvos Store.

Another woman spoke about doing The Salvation Army’s ‘See Change’ course through 2508 Salvos: “The See Change course has been instrumental in my personal growth and changes within myself. My family, friends, doctor and even my psychologist have all noticed a huge change in me since completing it.”

 

Salvos Stores Illawarra Area Manager Dale Cheetham said, “The event was a huge success bringing together businesses and personalities that make up the local community. It was a great opportunity for Salvos Stores to support local mission in Helensburgh so that we can continue building a healthy community.”

 

The collaboration between Salvos Store and local mission in Helensburgh shows that when different expressions of The Salvation Army come together to focus on mission, good things happen!

 


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