Colleen and Ken's dedication to giving back

The Salvation Army has received unwavering community support from many individuals and groups in 2020, especially in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. As well as seeing a huge demand for welfare from our communities, we also saw a huge increase of businesses across Aotearoa, wanting to get stuck in and help in any way they could. 

Last year The Salvation Army received a message from Colleen and Ken, a lovely couple who manage the Martinborough Bowling Club. They were keen to raise money for The Salvation Army. Colleen suggested the idea to the bowling club of donating $5 each to The Salvation Army instead of doing Secret Santa gifts and everyone got on board. Colleen and her bowling club raised over $175 on the day which was an incredible Christmas donation for The Foodbank Project! 

The Salvation Army is an organisation that has been dear to Colleen’s heart for many years. Colleen was raised in an orphanage for 16 years in Christchurch and had very little food or toys of her own. She truly understands how hard it is for people to grow up going without things that other people may take for granted. 

At a young age, Colleen and her three children suffered the loss of her husband. Being widowed brought many difficulties for Colleen, including struggling to feed her children. We chatted about Christmas and what it means to Colleen and she mentioned that one Christmas she was so out of money that all she had to feed her family a Christmas meal were cans of spaghetti. 

The Salvation Army reached their hand out to Colleen and offered support when she needed it the most. Colleen remembers running out to the road outside her house with her children to receive food from The Salvation Army truck that would hand out food parcels in the neighbourhood to struggling families.  Colleen has a special connection with The Salvation Army due to this support and has been donating to us for many years. She believes that The Salvation Army is an organisation that gives back to the community. When asking her why she wanted to support us, Colleen replied “We have everything we want and need, why not help others out?”.

Colleen and I also talked about Covid-19 and how that affected her and Ken’s lives and many others in New Zealand. She mentioned that Covid-19 has brought to light just how many people need help and has shown us the importance of giving what you can.

Colleen and her husband Ken have been married for 26 years, and just over four years ago they decided to clean up the Martinborough Bowling Club and get it going again. In the last four years they have gone from 50 members to over 120 members at the Bowling Club, all of those helping out The Salvation Army by donating what they can. 

If you know of any clubs who want to offer their support in some way or would like to support The Salvation Army yourself, we would love to hear from you!

Please do feel free to get in touch with our PR team by emailing

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