31 August 2023

What are you doing for the Big Collection?

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Salvationist introduces this year’s appeal and why it matters more than ever.

Each year in August and September, Salvationists and friends of The Salvation Army ask each other the same question: what are you doing for the Big Collection? The annual appeal raises funds to support the Army’s social and community programmes, which are needed more than ever during the cost of living crisis, whether that’s supporting people experiencing homelessness or helping jobseekers through Employment Plus.

Tony (pictured), from Preston Corps, was helped by the Army on both counts. When at rock bottom, he was befriended by an Army chaplain and supported at Bramwell House Lifehouse, before being helped back into work by the Employment Plus service at the corps. Three years ago, he was enrolled as a soldier.

‘When I put that uniform on, it was an amazing feeling,’ Tony said, ‘like the missing piece of the jigsaw. It was such a proud moment. I got a new family and have an extended family all over the world now. I have my recovery family through AA and my Army family, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.’

Supporting people like Tony is also why people like Tony will be choosing to raise funds for the Army: the Big Collection is an opportunity for all Salvationists to help support the Movement that they belong to, a Movement that can transform the lives of others.

However, income for the appeal is currently 50 per cent lower than it was in 2019 – it has not recovered after the Covid-19 pandemic. With people struggling more than ever, every penny that can be raised matters.

Traditionally, supporting the appeal has involved collecting days on high streets and in supermarkets or door-to-door fundraising, or perhaps a social event, such as a coffee morning or bake sale. But fundraising – apart from house-to-house collections, which must be during September – can take place at any time of the year, which means that opportunities for fundraising are all around you.

Corps and centres across the territory have been increasingly creative in the ways they raise funds for the Big Collection at a time that best suits them. In the past year alone, they have held quizzes, concerts, afternoon teas, garden parties, fairs and even a murder mystery evening. One Salvationist rode all the way from Land’s End to John o’Groats to support the appeal.

You might choose to run, skydive or cycle with some friends, or gather a group from your corps to try something bold and attention-grabbing. Not a skydiver? You can also donate online without taking your feet off the ground. If you are unable to donate money yourself, simply sharing your corps Big Collection JustGiving page on social media can have a big impact.

Resources to help you in your fundraising journey are available online, including posters, leaflets, collection boxes, worship materials, collection guidance and a video sharing Tony’s story in more detail.

What are you doing for the Big Collection? Whatever it is, know that it will make a Kingdom difference.

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Video and resources to support this year's appeal.

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