Salvos show they are here for the bush

THE BIG DRY: Regional coverage from NSW and Queensland

The Salvation Army are continuing to demonstrate the care and compassion which embodies their humble organisation, as they look to further increase their involvement in rural drought assistance.

The well known We're for the Bush appeal is preparing to grow, as levels of social, agronomic, and financial support are increased to the hard hit areas of NSW.

We're for the Bush aims to deliver vouchers and other forms of relief to assist drought stricken farmers.

The support will increase dramatically says Major Bruce Harmer, spokesperson for The Salvation Army.

"We are currently finalising an order for $500,000 worth of IGA vouchers along with another $500,000 set for CRT vouchers to give out," he said.

Major Harmer praised the "We're for the Bush" appeal which has incorporated a model used by The Salvation Army in the past.

"We've been using this model in The Salvos for a number of years. We offer a phone assessment to individuals which will result in EFT [Electronic Funds Transfer] for extended support," he said.

"The EFT holds a great deal of promise, not only for the individual receiving the funds, but for local small businesses around the area.

"There are other bills that vouchers can't cover, so we are trying to help out as many people as we can."

Dubbo Core Officer Lieutenant Mark Townsend commented on the speed and high demand the Dubbo Salvation Army office has received through We're for the Bush.

"We have been inundated with response. It's hard to get an exact figure because everything has been happening so quickly", he said.

Lieutenant Townsend said it was clear how the drought had reached across the Orana region.

"It has gotten to the point where many farmers are under a significant amount of personal and financial stress. There are so many different variables in each person's situation, so we are trying to help as much as possible," he said.

The response to We're for the Bush has been phenomenal he said. Lieutenant Townsend described the main emotion he has seen to be "sheer relief".

"We're not under any illusion that we are entirely solving the problem, but by providing support of a practical and tangible nature, we are able to show people that they are not alone in their stress," he said.

Major Harmer emphasised the importance for the Salvo Care Line, wishing for farmers and local business owners to "put those thoughts in their back-pockets".

"If anything, a rural community is proud and stoic. If you have been affected, please give us a call and let us give you the support," he said.

Salvo Care Line - 1300 36 36 22

The story Salvos show they are here for the bush first appeared on Daily Liberal.

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