SALVATION Army's Victorian State Commander Bruce Stevens is calling for the community to show some 'sole' in a united front in taking big steps on social change.
Lieutenant Colonel Stevens, in launching the annual Red Shield Appeal with socks in Ballarat, said efforts to tackle increasing issues of homelessness and food security in the region needed the community working together to be most effective.
This comes as radio station 3BA's ongoing community appeal delivered 16 early pellets of food relief product to the Salvation Army, weeks out from the start of the 3BA Winter Appeal.
For us this is a really special opportunity to be able to highlight to the community that actually we're dependent on each other, we really do this together.
"We have the privilege of responding to local needs. I'm passionate about the Salvation Army but more passionate about whole community response to see social change," Lieutenant Colonel Stevens said.
More than 500 Ballarat children have experienced homelessness in the past year.
Money raised in the Red Shield locally will support SalvoConnect programs for occasional child care and LARF mentoring - with a focus on life skills, activities, relationships and chance for children to have fun - for young people who have experienced homelessness, family violence and social isolation.
The appeal will also support Ballarat's emergency relief, crisis support and children's services.
Lieutenant Colonel Stevens, who was formerly based in Ballarat, said programs like LARF went beyond dealing with the basic right for everyone to feel safe, such a program also helped tackle practical issues of social dislocation.
He said the full extent of such social issues were hard to measure, which was why it was more important for the community to band together in helping each other.
"Often we're a very proud people. Often people don't like to be transparent about their needs, so there'll be some folk literally couch surfing or sleeping in their car but they might be comfortable to come to the Salvation Army even if often they're not even going to tell some of their friends about the need they've got," Lieutenant Colonel Stevens said.
Salvation Army Ballarat launched its appeal with a business breakfast in partnership with North Cares, the North Ballarat Football Club's charity arm, on Wednesday morning.
Salvation Army Red Shield volunteers will be out for the annual door-knock and tin rattling this weekend.
For those wanting to volunteer or fundraise, click here.
- READ MORE:Time to help Feed Ballarat
Big thanks for Delacombe's Red Day effort to start appeal
SHIELDY arrived to a thunderous roar for Delacombe Primary's school assembly. The Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal mascot wanted to say a personal thank you to all the pupils who dressed up to raise money for helping Ballarat children.
Delacombe grade four leader Ashlyn said Red Day was important "for the homeless" and she was happy with the colour on show.
Grade five leader Zoey said everyone was generous in bringing a gold coin to help: "people need houses and kids need places to sleep and blankets".
Their efforts, while still being tallied, launch a push in Ballarat to raise $60,000 for community emergency relief and support.
Shieldy's friend Captain Craig told pupils we all have a responsibility to help others in need because everyone belongs. Red Shield Appeal door knock is this weekend.
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