THE Salvation Army's Red Shield Appeal hopes to raise $5.7 million from the Greater West, starting with the doorknock on May 24 and 25.
Launching the appeal, the Salvation Army's divisional commander Warren Parkinson said the goal seemed like a great deal of money, but to sustain the ever expanding community demands "is paramount".
At a special launch at Rosehill, guests heard firsthand of the work done over the past year from Winmalee bushfire victim Joel Hollier, whose family lost everything in the blaze.
He recalled the day his father called him to say "Joel, we've lost the house".
And of how seeing his mother at the site being hugged by a complete stranger reminded him that they weren't alone: "The stranger was a Salvos' volunteer."
Mr Hollier said the "Salvos were immediately there, providing support and resources; they were there for the long haul: the rest of Australia had moved on".
Guests at the lunch were also told of the work of Youth Link, based at Blacktown, which provides early intervention, intensive case management and vocational training programs to the most disadvantaged and at risk young people across the region.
Commissioner James Condon, talking at the launch briefly touched on the recent Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse saying "I want to assure everybody that no donated funds [for the Red Shield Appeal] will be given to the compensation fund for victims".
■ For more information: www.salvos.org.au.