COVID-19 has seen everyday Aussies face greater hardship than they have ever experienced before, exposing many to financial hardship for the first time and putting the already vulnerable at increased risk.
While we are very blessed to be living in WA, it has become mandatory for people in Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire to wear a face mask outside of the home.
Unfortunately, sourcing and buying masks is difficult for many of the vulnerable people the Salvation Army works with.
"One of the major issues we have been facing is helping people who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, to access face masks that are clean," Melbourne corps officer Major Brendan Nottle said.
"The problem we have is that some people have gotten hold of one disposable face mask or a cloth mask and kept wearing it. This is an obvious risk of infection."
The Salvation Army's Create Craft group has responded to this critical need and has sent more than 100 hand-made adult sized face masks over to assist those less fortunate.
"Today we are facing the biggest global public health challenge we have ever experienced. However, we believe we will get through this if we unite together, support and pray for each other," Create leader Joy Stallard said.
"We made sure that each mask was individually wrapped, and we also included an uplifting message to encourage the people to let them know they were cared for, even from far away."
Major Nottle said the donated masks are being given to "people who are homeless, or in temporary accommodation, and even people in permanent accommodation who don't have access to clean PPE (personal protective equipment)."
"People can now wear clean, safe face masks, which have been mandated in Victoria," he added.
"It will go a long way towards keeping vulnerable people safe during this difficult time. Our thanks go to the Mandurah Create Craft Group for their great work and generous donations."
The Salvation Army is still encouraging people to 'Make a mask for Melbourne' and instructions for a three layered mask can be found online.
Masks can be posted to: ATTN: Gary Reid, The Salvation Army, National Communications Warehouse, PO Box 297, Richmond 3121, Victoria.