NFPs Launch Bushfire Appeals
Wednesday, 9th January 2013 at 4:45 pm
Not for Profit organisations have launched disaster relief appeals in response to the bushfire emergencies currently affecting communities in New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria.
The Salvation Army, Australian Red Cross and Save the Children are all accepting donations to assist those in need.
Telecommunications charity Telco Together Foundation has also launched an appeal in conjunction with mobile donations platform GiveEasy. Money raised by the appeal will be donated to Red Cross.
Red Cross said that thousands of people across the state have been displaced as a result of the bushfires, with many losing their homes and properties.
While dozens of people are still unaccounted for in fire ravaged Tasmania, according to authorities there are no confirmed reports of loss of life at present.
The Salvation Army says its volunteers and personnel from other agencies are on the ground providing “immediate assistance” to communities affected by bushfire across south-east Australia.
Salvation Army spokesperson Major Bruce Harmer said that this assistance will initially include meals, water as well as moral and emotional support to families and individuals in need.
“We cannot begin to understand the stress and anxiety people go through when disaster strikes,” Harmer said.
“However, The Salvation Army is well placed to assist individuals and families who find themselves in need and has extensive experience in the area of disaster relief.
“Salvation Army Emergency Services teams are on standby and have now been deployed to evacuation centres in fire affected areas. These teams consist of specially trained volunteers and will be providing both material and emotional support to those people in need.”
Child-focussed agency Save the Children has launched an appeal to assist vulnerable children and their families affected by the bushfires.
Save the Children’s Head of Humanitarian Programmes and former firefighter Stephen McDonald said: “Many children and their families across multiple states will be experiencing high levels of anxiety during this time and we need to pay particular attention to their needs.”
“Residents in Tasmania have begun returning to their properties to assess the damage, while families in parts of New South Wales are only now beginning to evacuate. It’s clear the road to recovery will be a long one.
We are appealing to the public to give generously to our bushfire appeal to help ease the burden on families and children.”
Save the Children says that funds raised from its bushfire appeal will be used on response and recovery projects to help communities affected by the disaster, with specific focus on children and young people.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has confirmed it will provide tax deductible status to relief funds established to help Australians affected by the Tasmanian bushfires.
The Acting Assistant Treasurer, Gary Gray declared the January 2013 Tasmanian fires a disaster for the purposes of establishing Australian disaster relief funds.
The government says that the declaration ensures that new funds and qualifying existing funds established for the relief of people in communities affected by the bushfires, can receive tax deductible donations.
While funds still need to apply for formal endorsement, the Tax Office has established a fast track process to get applications approved as quickly as possible.
The government says that donations to Australian disaster relief funds established to provide relief in the aftermath of the bushfires will be tax deductible for a period of two years.
More information on establishing an Australian disaster relief fund is available at www.ato.gov.au.