Tears of relief for battling Warwick families
THE generosity of donations had Warwick families close to tears at the Salvation Army yesterday.
Residents were invited to fill bags with school uniforms, toys, kitchenwares and homewares for absolutely no cost.
For Warwick single mother of 11 Marie Weston the giveaway came as a welcome relief during tough times.
"Rent is expensive, electricity is expensive and I just got my water bill,” she said.
"It really helps.”
Salvation Army Lieutenant Zak Churchill said more than 20 families came through within the first hour of opening.
He said the families came from all walks of life, with challenges ranging from rising house prices to drought shortages.
"The majority of the community is falling short in one way or another,” he said.
The latest donation from Big W in Warwick was so large the charity decided to open up its doors to everyone without the need for referrals or paperwork.
Ms Weston was amazed at the quality of goods on offer, all of which were brand new and still in packaging.
"I've never heard of anything like this before,” she said.
"I'm totally blown away.”
For some, donations will be hidden away until Christmas when they can be used as presents.
For others, receiving school shoes meant more money for fuel that week.
Lt Churchill was glad the charity had the opportunity to relieve the burdens of so many.
"I've had comments that I've made people's day,” he said.
"That's what we do, day in and day out, help people during their times of need.”
Mr Churchill volunteered at the event with wife and fellow Salvation Army Lieutenant Dee Churchill, who he'd met at a Salvation Army camp when they were young adults.
Lt Churchill said it was a humbling experience.
"My family was helped when I was a child,” she said.
"It's been great to give it back.”