A word from the Red Cross

The Kiama community has a long record of support for the local Red Cross. Here Kiama Red Cross President Judi O’Brien shares her thoughts:

Red Cross Kiama members Jeanna McEwan, Heidi Smith, Judi O’Brien, Col Rathbone, Vicki Robb and Nancy Finch

We at the Kiama Branch are overwhelmed and grateful for the support that has been given to the Australian Red Cross in the wake of the recent bush fires.

Support to the Australian Red Cross, other charitable organizations and the RFS have poured in from around the world.

We wish to offer a heartfelt thank you to all that have contributed to our appeal.

I am personally touched to see so many in the community offer their assistance to help those in need.

We at the Australian Red Cross are best able to support others through monetary donations.

If you wish to donate please go to https://www.redcross.org.au

Here is how you’ll be helping the people who’ve faced devastating fires this summer.

In the days that have followed the ABC New Year’s Eve donation drive, the Red Cross has been floored by phone calls, by messages of support, hundreds of them, for the people and communities who have faced devastating fires this summer.

Donations to our Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund have meant that we’ve been able to deploy 1,285 trained staff and volunteers to disaster-affected communities.

In more than 69 evacuation and recovery centres, our emergency teams have been ready to welcome people who have fled from the fires. Ready to listen, ready to comfort. Ready to help arrange emergency accommodation or locate a missing loved one through our Register.Find.Reunite service.

And we will continue to provide one-to-one support as people take stock of their losses and work out what to do next.

That’s what Red Cross does best. While other organisations do an incredible job fighting the fires, repairing the damage, or distributing food, water and other essential supplies, we play our part in the big picture by caring for the people.

That’s why your donations and fundraising efforts are so important.

Our experience in emergencies shows that donations of money, wherever possible, help affected communities recover sooner.

We listened when survivors of the bushfires told us that in addition to the long-term support we’ll provide for their recovery, they also need immediate help to cover everyday expenses.

Our newly available Emergency Grants will meet this need, allowing people whose homes have been lost to the fires to assess and purchase what they need most. In turn, local business will start to recover too.

For those that know of someone that needs assistance because they lost their home in the bushfires contact RedCross.org.au/grants

Since July 2019, Red Cross teams have responded to 30 emergencies and supported over 18,600 people, through the efforts of more than 1,590 volunteers and staff.

Red Cross people have worked day and night providing psychosocial support, registering those who were forced to evacuate and distributing essential relief items such as food and water.

Thanks to the incredible generosity of everyday Australians and many across the world we’ve raised over $31 million for our national disaster relief and recovery work since New Year’s Eve.

The situation is not over yet, but rest assured Red Cross will be there every step of the way, no matter how long it takes, helping people cope and communities recover.

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