Mixed bag of essentials for needy

Salvation Army fundraising secretary |Warren Palmer with One Bag appeal initiator Vari Flay. Picture: Marcus Whisson d421593
Salvation Army fundraising secretary |Warren Palmer with One Bag appeal initiator Vari Flay. Picture: Marcus Whisson d421593

The One Bag initiative being launched next month will provide people with a reusable backpack stuffed full of basic food and toiletries during the Salvation Army’s Winter Appeal.

The full bags cost $50 each to create and supply. Donations to prepare 100 bags are being sought.

Fremantle resident and creator of the initiative Mhairi Flay said she came up with the idea after noticing the growing number of homeless people in Perth.

‘I used to volunteer at St Albans in Highgate where they provide soup to the homeless, invite them and serve up; they are treated with dignity,’ she said. ‘And they are not the drunken old man on the bench stereotype of homelessness.

‘There is a quote that has always made me compassionate and understanding towards the homeless and other people. That is: ‘don’t judge people. You never know what kind of battle they are facing.”

Ms Flay said the fundraising target also provided people with a tangible product to support.

Salvation Army street team and doorways community program co-ordinator Kris Halliday said the initiative was a practical way for people to assist those who are homeless.

‘It is also giving homeless people a sense of independence and allows us to provide something meaningful.’

To donate, call 13 72 58 or go to salvationarmy.org/onebag.