After more than 55 years of knocking on doors each May, The Salvation Army is taking the Red Shield Appeal digital in response to COVID-19's impact on social contact.
Australians are facing an economic and social crisis unlike anything witnessed in recent decades and The Salvation Army is preparing to provide hardship support on an unprecedented scale.
Salvos living in communities across Australia are asking locals to become digital fundraisers by going to digitaldoorknock.salvationarmy.org.au and using a suburb or postcode to find their nearest Red Shield Appeal to help those doing it tough.
"We anticipate seeing some of the greatest need that we've ever seen in our 140-year history serving Australians," Bega Valley Salvation Army Captains Rod and Debra Parsons said.
"The COVID-19 crisis has financially crippled many Australians and it will take months to see the real impact it will have."
The money raised locally from the Red Shield Appeal Digital Doorknock this weekend - May 23-24 - will stay in the Bega Valley and help fund local initiatives.
The Salvation Army's most recent annual report noted its social services provided more than one million sessions of care to Australians in need; helped 46,000 people experiencing homelessness; provided financial counselling to more than 65,000; and offered care to 13,000 people coping with family violence.
The past year also saw an ongoing response to drought, while Salvation Army Emergency Services responded to the bushfires crisis by providing more than 500,000 meals and refreshments to first responders and displaced people.
"Over the past months we have seen unprecedented hardship over not only the Bega Valley and surrounds but also Australia wide," Captain Rod Parsons said.
"We have seen our communities come together like never before, firstly through the bushfire crisis and now through the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"In these unprecedented times we know that our services will be in high demand as people face the financial and social fallout of this major global event."
Rod said the Salvos' mission is to leave no-one in need.
"This includes the people we have always been helping who are living in extreme hardship; people who have never needed us before due to the impact of the recent bushfire crisis and the devastating impacts of this pandemic; and the people who have never felt so isolated and alone as they do right now.
"It is our mission to live, love and fight for everyone in need and that need is now greater than ever.
"Please give generously and partner with us, we can't do this without you."
Sign up to volunteer and fundraise at digitaldoorknock.salvationarmy.org.au
Donate at salvationarmy.org.au or call 13 SALVOS (13 72 58)