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Providing a shield for those in need

THE sudden arrival of winter in Perth also heralds the start of the Salvation Army’s major fund-raising drive, the Red Shield Appeal.

It’s no coincidence the Salvation Army’s appeal for donations and corporate partners comes as businesses prepare themselves for the tax season.

More than 40 per cent of the tax paying population, or three million Australians, claim donations to charities as a deduction on their tax return.

According to figures compiled by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, household expenditure on donations to charities is estimated at about $5.13 a week.

Tax deductions based on charitable donations account for 4.3 per cent of the total deductions made by Australians, or $632,000,000.

For the Salvation Army, money raised through its activities funds social welfare programs all over Australia.

It sounds like a daunting task, but Captain Neil Venables said the Salvation Army was committed to make a difference to the lives of needy people throughout WA and Australia.

“We know businesses are finding it pretty tough but also businesses understand people are doing it tough too,” Captain Venables said.

“We encourage businesses to be good corporate citizens and be actively engaged in the community.”

The Salvation Army claims it offers businesses a sound social investment with 82 cents in every dollar directed to social welfare projects.

Interestingly, Australia’s economic slowdown may prove an added incentive for businesses to dig deep this year.

“Because it’s tough, businesses are being very selective because they see their gifts as an investment and expect a social return,” Captain Venables said.

“We believe we’re in a position to provide that confidence in that investment.”

He said May traditionally was the focus of the Red Shield Appeal because, as the weather becomes colder, people are more receptive to making donations.

“The Salvation Army is committed to make a difference and we have a proven service delivery outcome,” Captain Venables said.

“Every night we provide 120 beds and meals for homeless people in Perth and 32 beds in country areas.

“The Army has a good record, our sleeves are rolled up and we’re ready to do work and we’re looking for business partners.”

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