Last year, a lot of people asked me if I could suggest alternative organisations to which they could donate. Instead of giving to the Salvation Army. I just said to give where people thought best.
This year, I AM making a suggestion about an alternative way to direct donations that might otherwise have been given to the Salvation Army, if people are stuck for ideas. There are many, many fine organisations doing tremendous work in supporting the Army’s victims, some of which receive no government funding at all. They need your help.
One such organisation, which I’d like to recommend to anyone wanting an idea, is the NSW branch of Origins SPCA Inc, run by forced adoption survivor and Forgotten Australian, Lily Arthur.
Origins NSW is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, so it’s a special year for this organisation, which not only doesn’t get any government funding, but receives no support from culpable organisations who harmed its members.
Many people don’t know that The Salvation Army (and other churches and charities, and governments) ran dozens of “maternity homes” throughout Australia (and Canada, the United States, New Zealand, and Scotland), taking babies from young women, many of whom had been raped, and adopting them out without the young women’s consent and often abusing them as well while they were in the homes.
Many young women were drugged prior to signing “consent forms” to give up their children, drugs which may have led to cancer in both the women and their children. Many of the young women were mere children themselves when their babies were stolen from them. Often, the young women were forced to do hard physical labour for which they were not paid, but which profited organisations such as the Salvation Army. In many cases, the young women were physically, emotionally, and sexually abused by the people running the homes.
Some of the young women in Salvation Army (and other organisations’) “maternity homes” were even in such places because they’d been raped in children’s homes run by the Salvation Army and similar organisations.
This all happened for approximately 50 years in Australia.
Appallingly, it was only in 2012 that the Salvation Army in Australia even apologised to these women still living, and then only in the case of women in their former maternity homes in NSW, Queensland, and the Northern Territory. Women who were in Salvation Army maternity homes in Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia, and the Northern Territory who had their newborn babies ripped from their arms haven’t even received an apology yet, let alone compensation or any other form of real support.
Origins NSW does sterling work in helping these women and their children reconnect and deal with the trauma of their lives as well as advocate for justice for affected women and their children. Please support them. You can donate to Origins NSW here. NB: Origins NSW is a fully registered Australian charity.
Media Enquiries: Lily Arthur, Origins NSW
Phone: (02) 9725 7723
(For readers outside Australia, please also see Origins International.
PS: There’s also a deeply personal reason for choosing Lily’s organisation to promote this year. As readers of my father’s (Lewis Blayse’s) blog would know, for a brief time, he was at a place called the Diamatina Receiving Depot in the Brisbane (Australia) suburb of Wooloowin, otherwise known as Warilda. Next door to him was a place that was then called the Holy Cross Laundry. An absolute hell-hole of a place. Lily was at this place. We’re yet to work out if it was at the same time.
You can read about why the girls at the Holy Cross Laundry were so special in my father’s life, and why they are also so special to me, here. I hope to one day find out who the sweet girls who were so kind to a lonely little boy were. They changed the course of his life by teaching him the joy of singing. This helped him later maintain his sanity and some measure of mental escape in the insane place that was just one of the the Salvation Army’s many disgraces, Alkira / Indooroopilly Boys’ Home, and you can read why here.
#WhiteShieldAppeal – Clean Up Your Act, Salvos! http://www.whiteshieldappeal.org