By David Pine
Posted: 13 February 2014
The Salvation Army is probably seen by most people as an organisation that helps the disadvantaged in our community. But according to Dave Smith, Lower North Island PR co-ordinator, they are now involved in a much broader range of activities.
David's role involves him in fundraising, brand management and public awareness across the lower North Island. He has also worked for The Salvation Army in event management, communications, marketing and donations management.
In 2011 he was domiciled in Christchurch for a number of months doing earthquake response work.
David has served a term on the Board of Trustees at Rongotai College and has a background in IT.
David is a musician and plays Bass in the Wellington Citadel (brass) Band. He has a keen interest in sport, and is a recreational cyclist. Last year he undertook a 23-day circumnavigation of the North Island - covering 2600 km - to raise money for The Salvation Army.
Married for 29 years, David and Tracy have three children.
Speaking at Plimmerton Rotary on 11th February, David noted that the Salvation Army was founded in England in 1865 by Catherine and William Booth and now has a presence in 126 countries worldwide. The New Zealand operation began in 1883. Over the years it has grown to comprise 130 social service centres, a similar number of family stores, and over 100 churches.
A Christian organisation, the Army’s basic philosophy is to give a hand up, not a hand out. It does this by empowering people to take control of their own lives. Services offered include counselling, budgeting, provision of food and clothing, advocacy, programmes that promote positive self esteem and sustainable independence, and courses on parenting, problem solving and anger management.
A major focus is on helping people from all walks of life who have problems with drugs, alcohol, and gambling.
Older people who are living alone are encouraged to remain in their own homes for as long as possible. This is achieved through having a suitable volunteer from the Army team up with each older person on an ongoing basis.
Mr Smith explained that it was not widely known that the Army helps out at times of major disasters, such as the Canterbury earthquakes, when large numbers of specialist workers are helping in the aftermath of the tragedy. The army provides the specialist workers with on site catering, shelter, encouragement, and counselling.
Funding for the Army’s activities comes from profits from their family stores, from fundraising, and from Government grants.
In the Porirua region the Salvation Army has churches, family stores and social service centres located in Tawa, Porirua, Plimmerton and Kapiti. A major focus in this region was the Foodbank, and Mr Smith expressed his gratitude to Plimmerton Rotary for its ongoing support for this vital service. Check out the slides that David used to support his presentation Helping Kiwis in need.
Just a few days after David's presentation, The Salvation Army released its 2014 State of the Nation Report - Striking a Better Balance. You can read it here.