Sunday, May 29, 2016

An Open Letter To Officer Kids...

Dear Officer Kids (OK's),

During and after the Red Shield Appeal a lot of people will be thanked for volunteering their time to collect for The Salvation Army.  While we appreciate and value the contribution of Corps and Community members, I want you to know how much we appreciate and value YOU!

I am a Corps Officer and have two children, now 16 years old, who have helped us with the Red Shield Appeal for as long as they were able to walk.  While they have mostly done this willingly, there have been times that it has been out of a sense of obligation because mum and dad are Officers.  Not only have they contributed long hours after school and on weekends but they have had to put up with mum and dad being absent for long hours.  The word 'volunteer' for Officer Kids often feels more like being 'conscripted' (ask mum and dad what that means).

I see your photos on Facebook out collecting with mum and dad and with other teams.  I see how many days you are at shopping centres, how many kilometres you walk (or are pushed in a pram), and how many hours you spend on intersections.  

I see how tired you look at the end of the Red Shield Appeal weekend with the knowledge you have to do it all again the following week.  

I want you to know that you are the real heroes of the Red Shield Appeal!  

Because of your patience, your parents are able to organise and coordinate the whole Red Shield Appeal.

Because of your presence, your parents are able to give the hours they do throughout the entire Red Shield Appeal.

Because of your participation, your parents are able to collect the amount of money needed by the Red Shield Appeal.

While everyone else is being rightfully thanked for their efforts, I want to personally thank YOU!  On behalf of Salvation Army Officers everywhere who have AWESOME kids just like you, I want you to know we couldn't do it without YOU!  To Officer Kids everywhere...THANK YOU!!

With love and appreciation,

A grateful Dad and Corps Officer

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