Reach Out and Reconnect: Raymond Terrace Salvation Army is here to help

HERE TO HELP: Salvation Army Raymond Terrace pastors Joel and Yolande Soper with counselor Maria Knipe.
HERE TO HELP: Salvation Army Raymond Terrace pastors Joel and Yolande Soper with counselor Maria Knipe.

Pockets of the community that have never before reached out for assistance from the Port's services have been forced to come forward this year due to difficulties created by the coronavirus pandemic.

Isolated seniors, the jobless and those who are financially struggling due to the cutback in government payments are just some of the COVID-affected "pockets of community" that have turned to the Raymond Terrace Salvation Army for help this year.

"Before COVID we ran three food programs a week including a Tuesday lunch and Wednesday dinner. We had to change the way we deliver those programs because of COVID. We now deliver meals, and are delivering to more elderly residents," Raymond Terrace Salvation Army corps officer Yolande Soper said.

"The team still cook up meals on a Tuesday and we still have hungry people turning up at the church. We don't turn anyone away. The number of people turning up for meals has been increasing.

"People who have never found themselves in a position where they've needed our help before, who through no fault of their own have lost their job this year, are turning to us. We try and help them bounce back."

The Salvos also link the homeless with services that are resourced to assist them and provide drug and alcohol recovery programs, among other support services.

Raymond Terrace Salvos will expand its drug and alcohol support next year to friends and families of recovering addicts. Expressions of interest from members of the community interested in joining this new recovery support program are now being taken.

Raymond Terrace Salvos is also taking names for its Christmas hampers. Last year the Salvos handed out 240 hampers at Christmas, which included a gift for all family embers donated through the Examiner and Dowling Christmas Appeal.

To register, phone the Salvos on a Monday between 9am and 5pm on 4983 1425.

Ms Soper urged anyone who required support or assistance to pick up the phone and call the Raymond Terrace Salvos.

"We don't want anyone to suffer or go without. We're here to help and give hope."

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