Don't struggle alone.
It's a simple but important message from Southern Highlands Salvation Army Captain Jake Horton.
In what has been a crazy year, the way in which the Salvation Army has been able to help the community has certainly changed in 2020.
Being able to speak to people face to face has been an important part of the way the Salvation Army provides assistance.
But in recent months that has all changed.
Mr Horton said they were still "heavily involved" in the bushfire recovery when COVID-19 struck earlier this year and the Highlands, along with the rest of the world was forced to shut down.
He said they were able to direct many people in need of assistance to the telephone line set up to help those in regional and remote areas.
"It was different for a lot of people."
While they were no longer able to provide regular face to face contact, Mr Horton said they still delivered plenty of food hampers and essentials to vulnerable members of the community and those who were in isolation after returning from overseas.
In the Southern Highlands, the Salvation Army handed out close to 1000 rolls of toilet paper.
They have still been available over the phone and Mr Horton said they often had people ring up just to talk to someone.
"It's great to hear their stories."
And while the world is slowly returning to normal, Mr Horton said it may never be the same again for many people in the community.
"A lot of people were struggling with isolation. Some might struggle to get back out in society."
He believes those with health issues and some elder residents who have become used to staying indoors, will find it difficult to "get out and about" again.
Before COVID, the Salvation Army ran a weekly community cafe where people which provided a safe space for people who needed support or even just a chat.
Mr Horton said they were in discussions as to when they would be able to open their doors again but in the meantime, people were able to ring up and make an appointment to come in.
The Salvation Army shop has reopened, which Mr Horton said would provided much-needed income to help them further assist the community.
"Without the store, we're limited with what we can do."
And until life as we knew it returns, Mr Horton said it was important to reach out to friends and family.
"Remember your friends and think about those people you haven't seen in awhile. Give them a call, don't be strangers."
Call the Southern Highlands Salvation Army on 4861 3912 if you need assistance.
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