Tahnee does a bucketload of good
TAHNEE Parsons is passionate about giving back to her community and making a difference as a volunteer with the Salvos.
The 22-year-old from Clifton Springs answered a call to raise money for the Red Shield Appeal in 2018 and her commitment to the making a difference has only grown since then.
“I’ve always had that passion in me to help people but I didn’t really know how,” she says.
“I was not enjoying uni and I came across this Facebook post randomly and I thought ‘the Salvos, maybe I should try volunteering with them’ and it just sort of snowballed from there.”
Tahnee believes she has found her purpose at the Bellarine Salvos and now helps where she’s needed, including as a youth mentor and as part of the weekly Outreach Van team.
She is on the Bellarine Red Shield Appeal committee and last year single-handedly raised $2000 for the annual Red Shield Appeal by sharing updates and heartfelt messages via her social media.
Tahnee has already raised $380 this year but says her focus is on encouraging others to play their part in this year’s Red Shield Appeal Digital Doorknock.
In 2021 the Salvos are encouraging the community to become “digital door knockers” by creating an online fundraising page to raise money for their local Salvos.
The aim is to raise $32 million to help those experiencing hardship.
“One of the important things to mention is that the donations stay local,” Tahnee says.
“It’s good for people donating to feel reassured that their donations are going towards important programs like the Outreach Van, our counselling program and our Youth Ambassador program.”
Tahnee says mentors such as captains Peter and Di Hobbs at Bellarine Peninsula Salvos have given her the confidence to deal with confronting situations brought on by homelessness, family and domestic violence, alcohol or other drug addiction.
“That’s why I’m so grateful I have mentors and role models who are holding me like a safety net so I can’t fall and I know I can step up and succeed,” she says.
Each Friday night between 7.30pm and midnight Tahnee is on board the outreach van is as it travels around the region, from the Bellarine to Norlane, helping those in need.
“That when we go out and we connect with the most vulnerable people in the community, the homeless, family violence situations and people in their homes who are isolated,” she explains.
“For some people we knew on the Bellarine housing became unaffordable so a lot of families we connected with here were forced to leave the area.
“It was really sad and we didn’t want to lose that connection that we’d been building for so long so we try to make the journey out to Norlane to visit them also.”
It is that frontline experience which inspires her to keep volunteering and urge others to support the vital work of the Salvos.
“Please give generously and have the peace of mind that your money will be going back into your local community,” she says.
“It doesn’t matter how much or how little you raise or donate, it all helps.”
To donate or volunteer for The Salvation Army’s Red Shield Appeal, or if you need support from the Salvos, visit the Salvation Army website or call 13 SALVOS.