Salvation Army Busselton's 'real hero of hope'

Salvation Army South West captain Mark Schatz has called City of Busselton records officer Zoe Chalwell-James a hero of hope for collecting items to donate to the Salvos.
Salvation Army South West captain Mark Schatz has called City of Busselton records officer Zoe Chalwell-James a hero of hope for collecting items to donate to the Salvos.

A clean out of kitchen cupboards led City of Busselton records officer Zoe Chalwell-James to create a good deed when she realised she had a lot of items she was never going to use.

Ms Chalwell-James had been on a Kmart binge to buy storage containers when she decided to clean out her cupboards and take items she would not use to the Salvation Army.

"When I got home I realised I had not cleaned out my cupboards in a very long time, there was so much stuff I was never going to use," she said.

Ms Chalwell-James decided to do an organisation-wide collection for the Salvation Army when a coworker told her they also had lots of unused items.

"The chief executive officer thought it was a great idea to do as an internal drive, the support I received from my colleagues was amazing," she said.

"I collected items over a week and contacted Mark from the Salvation Army. It has been quite an emotional week.

"When I went to pick up the boxes more and more people were popping things in, it has restored my faith in humanity that so many people out there were willing to help."

Salvation Army South West captain Mark Schatz said it was amazing to receive the donations because one in five people throughout Australia would need help from them at some time in their life.

"That is a lot of people and we cannot do it all by ourselves, so when someone like Zoe comes along who wants to partner with us, it just means the world," he said.

"We will get to help so many people with the donations she has made, but she just has not done it herself, she has coordinated her entire workforce to get behind her and make this happen.

"In our books, Zoe is the real hero here, she is a hero of hope and has brought hope to many people here in the South West, especially in Busselton."

Mr Schatz said if any other organisations in the region would like to make donations to the Salvation Army to email mark.schatz@aus.salvationarmy.org.

"Especially at this time of year, we had a late winter and it is a bit colder at the moment," he said.

"We know people are struggling, we took a 78-year old lady off the streets last week and got her into accommodation, this is the type of work we do and we do this all year long.

"We are here every week for all of the community help and I encourage anyone I can to collect donations in the workplace and make it a bit of fun and get a bit of joy happening.

"When you give, you get back in so many other ways."