For four years now, Davallia Primary School has hosted a food and toy collection for The Salvation Army in Balga. Each classroom has had a Christmas tub and the student councillors regularly collect the items over the collection period. The items were then documented, boxed up and I take them into The Salvation Army in Balga.
At the end of the collection period, the Salvos send two representatives to visit our school and speak at our assembly. This year Jo and Yonni visited us and Jo explained to the community just what happens at the other end of the collection. She explained how they place all the toys out so it looks like Kmart and pack all the food into bags. Then over 400 families come through the Corps at Balga and are handed a bag of Christmas food and the parents can walk around with a trolley and choose a toy for every child in their family. The Salvos make the experience feel like a normal shopping experience to give people more respect and dignity when they come in. They are offered coffee and child care so all the toys are a surprise for the children. After Jo and Yonni shared with the school, our Head Boy and Head Girl presented our last donations to them.
Salvos at Marmion in 2019
This year Marmion Primary School also wanted to give to families in need so a few teachers put some tubs in all the classrooms and I emailed a list of appropriate non-perishable food and new toys and gifts for The Salvation Army Appeal. Over two weeks’ students bought many things in to their classroom hamper. On the same day we had some Salvos visiting the Davallia assembly, I arranged for a visitor to speak and share at Marmion Primary school.
Phil Jennings from the Balga Corps (who has visited Davallia many times now) came to Marmion and told them about what happens at the Balga Corps around Christmas time. Marmion got to hear about the hundreds of families that need some help at Christmas time and how their donations can make a big difference. After Phil shared at the assembly he collected the 16 hampers from the Marmion community and took them back to The Salvation Army Corps in Balga where they will be sorted. The food will go into food bags for families and the toys will go to the ‘shop’ for parents to choose items that suit their children individually. The Salvos do such and amazing job supporting 400-500 families in their area and that area is located not far away from both these schools. It’s just at the other end of Beach Rd. It was wonderful to see both schools get behind such a local cause at Christmas time
Written by YouthCARE Chaplain Louisa Read