Hastings businesses raise over $15,000 at the 2018 Red Shield Appeal launch

Dig deep: Laurence and Samantha Barlow, Grant Hume, Major Kevin Unicomb and Major Gavin Watts.
Dig deep: Laurence and Samantha Barlow, Grant Hume, Major Kevin Unicomb and Major Gavin Watts.

THE Hastings business community showed a whole heap of heart at the 2018 launch of the Red Shield Appeal, raising $15,000 for the work of the Salvation Army.

The Red Shield Appeal Business Breakfast hosted by the Westport Club on May 18 was supported by more than 126 people who dug deep for the worthy cause.

Special guest speakers at this year’s breakfast were Samantha and Laurence Barlow, former police officers who have overcome the aftermath of a hideous and brutal assault that changed their lives forever.

Authors of the book Left For Dead, their story is told from the moment of a vicious attack that left Sam, who had only just returned to the police force after having children, with critical injuries and very little chance of survival.

It is a story of hope with resilience, courage and bravery at the core underpinned by the message ‘never give up’.

Former Port Macquarie Salvo Major Gavin Watts returned to support Grant Hume, a former drug addict who was helped by the Salvation Army to turn his life around.

Mr Hume, who at his lowest was supporting a $5000 a day drug habit and lost everything he owned, was given a second chance by the Salvos at its rehabilitation centre on the Central Coast.

“The Salvos gave me hope when I had none. And they gave me back my dignity when I had none left,” Mr Hume said.

He is now a case worker at the transformation centre and uses his personal experience to lift others out of the darkness.

The Salvation Army is calling on Port Macquarie community groups, sporting clubs, workplaces, families and individuals to get involved in its annual Red Shield Appeal doorknock.

The aim in 2018 is to help raise $7.5 million nationwide over the weekend of May 26-27 to help fund The Salvation Army’s vast network of social services helping those in need. 

In Port Macquarie this will be for emergency relief, such as food, showers and electricity accounts, referrals for drug and alcohol addiction, help with second-hand clothes and furniture, and the Positive Lifestyle Program.

Salvation Army major Kevin Unicomb said the Salvos are aiming to mobilise 70,000 volunteers nationwide for the doorknock to help meet the growing demand on its services.

To volunteer for this year’s Red Shield Appeal weekend, please call 13 SALVOS (13 72 58) or register online.