Vinnies Bushfire Appeal passes $1 million

Tuesday 26 November 2019

Donations to the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal in partnership with Channel Nine have passed the $1 million mark.

Jack de Groot, CEO of St Vincent de Paul Society NSW, praised the generosity of those who have donated to the appeal, but noted that more support is needed as summer begins.

“The response to the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal is welcome news among all the terrible destruction caused by the fires, including the tragic loss of life. It’s shown us yet again that Australians step up for one another in times of great need, and we are so grateful to our donors and Channel Nine,” Mr de Groot said.

“With summer starting this weekend, the challenges we’ve already seen are likely to continue and possibly worsen. Despite the heroic efforts of firefighters, there will be many more people in need of our support in the weeks and months ahead. For this reason we will be keeping the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal going for the foreseeable future.”

Vinnies is working collaboratively with government agencies to help displaced families and individuals with their immediate needs, including food and clothing.

One of the many people assisted over the past month was Alysoun Learmonth, whose Yarrowitch home went up in flames on 7 November. The change in conditions came so suddenly that Ms Learmonth only had time to gather a few essentials and her beloved staffy bull terrier, Kirra, before heading west to safety in Walcha.

“The support from Vinnies has been fantastic. They’ve provided bags and bags of donations; clothes, vouchers for food, they’ll put little extras in the boot of my car,” Ms Learmonth said.

“The love and support from the community has been incredible.”

As well as immediate assistance, donations to the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal will be allocated to community recovery projects in the months ahead, helping the worst-struck communities get back on their feet.

“We will be on hand during the long recovery phase as people rebuild their lives, often from scratch,” Mr de Groot said.

Mr de Groot said a major strength of Vinnies is that its volunteers live and work in local communities, and know their neighbours’ needs first-hand.

“We are so grateful for the amazing support so far and ask that those in more fortunate circumstances spare a thought and a few dollars for our fellow Australians doing it tough. Every dollar donated to the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal goes directly to helping those people affected.”

Donate to the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal at www.bushfireappeal.com.au or call 13 18 12.