Festive cheer comes to Goshen Trust

To wrap up a year of partnership with the Goshen Trust family, Samoa’s Salvation Army have delivered Christmas cheer and gifts to the residents and staff of the mental health respite home.

The Salvation Army team delivered lunch and presents to the 14 residents and 10 staff of the Goshen Trust on Friday and on Christmas Day will come back with a festive feast, replete with all the trimmings. 

They also donated a string trimmer for the grass, fresh linen and mattress protectors for the beds, and gift parcels of pampering toiletries for the residents. 

The Goshen Trust Mental Health Residence offers a break for people managing mental illnesses and for their families too; to help everyone get through to a more manageable way of life. 

The staff work with clinicians and the Mental Health Unit of the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital to get their residents back home with their families when possible.

The Director of the Trust, Naomi Sone Eshraghi, said the Salvation Army have been good friends to the Trust all year. As well as occasional religious services for anniversaries and birthdays, the church has donated a washing machine and freezer. 

“They asked us nearly a month ago if they could organise this, and of course we said yes,” Ms. Eshraghi said.

The team delivered the lunch and gift bags, stayed to accept the Goshen’s thank you and shared a hymn together, before leaving the community to celebrate together.

The Goshen Trust is a small non-profit that requires donations to fund its operating budget. It’s major funder is the Civil Society Support Programme, and has annual support from private organisations like the Apia Hash House Harriers, Apia Concrete Products, Big Bear, Sinalei Reef Resort and Spa.

Individuals also help them with donations of money, time and resources. Papali'i Dr Viopapa Annandale-Atherton, Seirosa Wallwork-Lamb, Agnes Ericksson and Fa’aso’otauloa Sam Saili are among the people Ms. Eshraghi has received help from over the years.

“Without them, Goshen would be in a terrible state,” she said.

“There are so many kind, good Samaritans who have helped and loved Goshen throughout the year.”

Lietentant Colonel Rod Carey is the Regional Leader and Pastor of the Salvation Army Samoa. He said helping Goshen during the festive season is just part of their ongoing partnership.

“It’s a pleasure to support Goshen Trust,” Mr. Carey said.

“We have been supporting them throughout the year with resources and goods, and supporting Naomi and the Trust. Come Christmas is was a natural response to take some gifts over.”

He believes the church’s total donations over Christmas equal around $4000. 

“It is difficult for Goshen in terms of funding," he said. 

“Considering it is the only mental health provider other than the [Ministry of Health] on the island it’s a pretty significant service they provide on a shoestring budget.”

Some of the long-term residents know the church leadership well and have formed relationships with them. 

Mr. Carey added that some of the clients and staff join for regular church services and lunch afterwards too at their premises in Moto’otua, 

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