Vinnies Victoria Bushfire update 6 March 2020

St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria remains active in the Victorian communities that were bushfire affected and has now moved into the second phase of recovery and rebuilding.

St Vincent de Paul Victoria is not government funded and so we rely on the generosity of our supporters to continue our work. During natural disasters, our volunteers are second responders and remain in these affected towns long after the cameras turn away. 

Our message is simple. As we were back in 1898 during Red Tuesday (when we held our very first Vinnies Victoria disaster relief appeal) and Black Saturday more than 100 years later in 2009, we have always been there providing practical and compassionate assistance. 

More than a decade later, we are still assisting people affected by the Black Saturday fires. Our volunteers are also helping communities rebuild after the Bunyip fires 12 months ago.

We know there are people who have experienced significant loss in the recent bushfires who we haven’t yet heard from yet, and we urge them to call our Bushfire Helpline 13 18 12 for assistance. 

Please help us. Tell people you know who were bushfire-affected to call us. And please remind them that we are here. 

National figures

As at 1 March 2020, nationally, the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal has raised a total of $22.2 million with almost half ($10.3 million) already distributed to people in bushfire-affected areas who meet the funding criteria. Almost $12 million remains for community recovery and the rebuilding phases across Australia.

A message from our State President – Kevin McMahon
“We have been very busy preparing for our roles as second responders. Our Bairnsdale volunteers have done a great job, right from the beginning, in dealing with the volume of people in their area affected by the terrible fires. 

“Now we are able to move into other areas, and our work truly begins in earnest in Corryong and Mallacoota. As we have said all along, we will be spending all our donated money. We will not be using any of it for administration. We will be in these areas for the long haul, with a sustainable approach to spending our donated money.

“There is a schedule of financial assistance to those most critically affected. Alongside this, we are offering our regular assistance to all others in these areas, whether they have lost income, business or undergone other damage. 

“Applications for educational assistance are already being processed, and we are extremely grateful for the support of the Jewish community – both financially and in their collaboration with us and trust in our stewardship.”