Ningana residents Val Cooling and Claire Travers and Salvation Army representatives Christine Brooks and Trish Miles (back) mark Christmas in July with Santa.
Ningana residents Val Cooling and Claire Travers and Salvation Army representatives Christine Brooks and Trish Miles (back) mark Christmas in July with Santa. Emily Bradfield

Christmas comes early for Salvation Army

DOROTHY Schmidt can still remember the day the Salvation Army came knocking when her family first moved to Australia.

"In 1952 we came from England and we moved into an old house and the Salvation Army arrived with a hot meal for us,” she said.

"Because we were moving it was so good to get a hot meal. We have always supported the Salvation Army.”

For Mrs Schmidt, the opportunity to give back to the charity that helped her family in their time of need means a lot, and she is just one of the many proud residents at Ningana Retirement Village giving back to the community through their Gift of Giving project.

Residents at Ningana celebrated Christmas in July last month and it wouldn't be Christmas without gifts.

Instead of getting presents themselves, however, the residents have been trying out the gift of giving, collecting non-perishable items or donating money to buy food throughout July.

The Salvation Army was voted by residents as the charity to receive their gift and distribute their items throughout the community.

Joan Luck has been a resident at Ningana for four years and jumped at the chance to give back to the community.

"We are given a great deal in here, we're very happy here and it's good to give back,” she said.

"Just to give back to the community, to people who could do with some help and just a little bit extra in their pantry.”

Mrs Luck said the residents and their families all gave whatever they could in tins and non-perishable items in the hope the food would last for a family savouring their meals.

"We wanted to give something that would be useful, something people can use when they need it,” she said.

For Mrs Luck, appreciating the support and care she receives is important in giving to others.

"There's some very needy people out there. We certainly aren't needy in here, we couldn't be in a better place ... I'm an old nurse myself so I know a good place when I'm here,” she said.

"The residents here are given a lot. We're given a lot of emotional support and companionship and the food is jolly good.”

Ministry leader for the Salvation Army Dalby Corp Christine Brooks said the Salvos put together hampers of foods for people doing it tough in the community so they were pleased to receive the residents' generous help.

"Sometimes people come into our shop who need a hand. We usually get the people who are really desperate,” she said.

"Our pantry is getting lower so we are grateful for this donation.”


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