Vinnies Bushfire Appeal – How we’re helping

20 January 2020

The Vinnies Bushfire Appeal has so far raised more than $12 million to support people impacted by the unprecedented fires devastating communities across Australia.

As communities begin the long journey towards rebuilding and recovery, we will be there through our network of members and volunteers to offer a hand up in the coming weeks, months and years.

Thanks to the generosity of everyone who has donated, we have been able to give immediate assistance including:

  • Providing food, clothing, essential items and grocery vouchers for people who have lost everything
  • Paying household bills as people work through the recovery process
  • Arranging crisis accommodation
  • Making referrals onto a range of other organisations and specialised support services
  • Giving much-needed emotional support and counselling

With funds raised from the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal, we have provided immediate $1,000 payments for fire-affected households, along with additional $3,000 payments available for those in greater need.

In NSW, we are helping in the following ways:

South Coast

We have responded to the fires which have devastated communities like Ulladulla and Tumbarumba by providing $420,000 in financial assistance. We are on the ground providing food and water to affected areas including Sussex Inlet, where our St. Patrick’s Conference collaborated with the local RSL and Army Reserve to meet practical needs including food and toiletries to 500 people in the space of four days. “We saw there was a need. It helped out so many people, you could see the relief in their faces,” said Anne Hayward, Vinnies St Patrick’s Conference President.

North East

As one of the first areas to be hit by the fires last October, we have provided $305,000 in financial assistance so far to the North East region (covering Tweed Heads down to Newcastle). In communities such as Rappville, Busbys Flat and Grafton, we are helping locals purchase items such as water pumps, solar generators and fencing. Our members and volunteers are on the ground working in collaboration with groups like Lions - who generously provided 40 water tanks as part of the recovery effort - along with attending meetings in communities like Bobin, Mount George, Tinonee and Killabakh to provide emotional support. “One of the big parts of our work is having a connection with people. We get to know them and let them know that we are here to support them in the coming weeks and months,” said Deacon Vince Ryan, Vinnies Manning Region President.

North West

In communities like Glen Innes, Wytaliba and Lithgow we have provided $225,000 in financial assistance as part of our commitment to the North West region. At community meetings and through our network of conferences across the region, we are offering food, clothing, household essentials and invaluable emotional support by regularly checking in with the people we assist. "Some of the people we’ve spoken with only managed to get out with the clothes they were wearing. It will be a long road back but we are committed to being there for the long haul," said Phil Donnan, Vinnies North West Regional Director.

If you have been affected by bushfire, call 13 18 12 for assistance.

To donate to the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal, call 13 18 12, visit www.bushfireappeal.com.au or give in-store at any Vinnies Shop.