THERE are 30,700 reasons to be proud to call Gladstone home, after this sizeable figure was raised by locals in this year's Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal.
Australia's most neediest will receive a total of $79.9 million nation-wide, after a hugely successful 2014 campaign.
The Red Shield Appeal relies upon volunteers to doorknock, gathering funds to help Australians during the year ahead.
Captain Jeff Bush says the community effort of Gladstone was once again astounding.
"It's been an amazing year," he said.
"Gladstone has extended their hearts and delivered with enormous generosity. I can't say thank you enough."
The appeal opens a brief window into the homes of those living on the margins, with harrowing figures coming to light.
A recent survey of 2500 Salvation Army clients reveals one quarter are unable to afford a substantial meal at least once a day.
Salvation Army spokesperson Major Bruce Hammer said the figures were frightening, although the significant contribution made by Australians was reassuring.
"We are increasingly seeing people who in the past would have donated to charity now becoming recipients.
"Research shows many individuals and families are going without basics, the things most people take for granted," he said.
Despite their difficulties, many want to provide a more sustained and adequate standard of living for themselves and their children, which is why the Red Shield Appeal is so important."
CLIENTS OF THE SALVATION ARMY
- 1 in 4 unable to afford a substantial meal at least once a day.
- 28% have had to live without heating in at least one room throughout winter.
- 38% of clients do not have regular social contact with people.
- 47% are unable to find someone to help them when needed.
- 91% have limited or no savings for emergencies.
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