THE Salvation Army's annual Red Shield Appeal is a little different this year.
In previous years, Bathurst volunteers visited homes or set themselves up at static collection points in the city's shopping centres.
Due to COVID-19, neither of those are options for the Red Shield Appeal this year, so Salvos is taking its fundraising efforts online.
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Bathurst Salvos Lieutenant Kate Cathcart said a fundraising page has been set up for the local community to donate to the appeal.
"What it is basically is an online fundraiser, so in the simplest form it's just about sharing a page and people donating online, but it also has an opportunity for people to create their own fundraiser," she said.
"For instance, someone in the Bathurst community could say 'Yep, this is a cause I want to get behind' and they can jump on our page and sign up to create their own fundraiser.
"They can tell their own story and they can then just share their page, or they can get really creative and do things like 'Sponsor me to do a marathon', or 'If I raise $2000 I'll get a Red Shield tattoo' - that's a comical example - or dye their hair red for six months.
"So people can get creative and silly with it to raise funds, or they can just share the page like crazy."
The goal for the Bathurst Salvos is $10,000.
Lt Cathcart admits it will be a challenge, as this is the first time there hasn't been a physical reminder that the appeal is happening.
"A big part of the local funds has been that loose change kind of fundraising, so when we're in the shopping centres for instance, getting people's loose change; they wouldn't necessarily think of us in any other way," she said.
"I think in the Bathurst community it is going to be a challenge and it will take a lot of intentionality from our part and it will take other people getting on board, too, telling their story and trying to encourage that support."
People who would like to support the fundraising efforts can click here to donate.
Although the fundraising is being done differently, the money raised during the Red Shield Appeal will still be used the same way it always has been, to help people in local communities who are doing it tough.
"A vast majority of it will stay in the local community to work towards our community services project, so that can be from basic things such as food hampers and winter supplies for people who are experiencing homelessness, as well as other emergency situations, but also - depending on how much we raise - what we want to be able to do is build up our resources in our drop-in centre and build up our personnel," Lt Cathcart said.
"We would love to raise enough to actually employ someone to coordinate a drop-in centre and really increase that availability for people in the community."