A message from our President:
It was very important to me to commence this update with a special thank you to all the dedicated local conference members and volunteers, including some new members, who have been working tirelessly since the bushfire crisis overwhelmed our State. Our conferences and volunteers have stepped up, as they have always done for over 165 years.
Our next challenge will be moving into the recovery phase when this immediate crisis is over. This is where the Society really comes into its own. Planning is already underway to give some detailed information on how this next phase might work.
At the same time, I wish to acknowledge the magnificent work of all the emergency workers and all those in the community who have donated their time, goods, money and been providing assistance.
Michael and I have visited our members in Bairnsdale to say a personal thank you and to make sure they have everything they want. We will continue to visit other areas as it safe and possible.
Kevin McMahon, St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria, State President
DONATIONS - financial
On our donations website – www.bushfireappeal.com.au - we have a range of FAQs that are helpful to explain the situation with donations. The details are included at the end of this update and can also be found here.
The Catholic Archdiocese is supporting a collection across the Australia Day weekend.
All shops across the state are open and trading.
Just one of our many stories of Vinnies Good Works…
This week our Manager at Lakes Entrance, Erica, and her team of volunteers were visited by Simon, CFA Member and Vinnies Logistic Manager as they headed out to fight the fires in Omeo.
FROM THE FIELD
We have been communicating with all the local services, including the Emergency Recovery Manager and explain where we fit in as second responders who are focused on long-term recovery. People needing assistance are being made aware of where we operate from and how to contact us.
The Relief Centre has been rearranged by the local authorities and, in consultation with their Emergency Recovery Manager, we have moved to St Mary’s Parish. We have created a more private space where we can sit and listen and provide recovery assistance and referral to other agencies for various other forms of assistance.
We have been providing a wide range of support, ranging from water for farmers to replenish/flush tanks and sleeping bags and swags. We continue to work through how we can provide long-term recovery assistance to farmers and others.
These updates are being posted on our website here.
Vinnies Bushfire Appeal FAQs
How will Vinnies use my donation?
We will use all donations to help people recover from this disaster.
Short term - paying for immediate needs, such as food vouchers, clothing, bedding, fuel and other costs of their household, and emergency accommodation.
Medium term – paying for living costs, white goods and furniture.
Long term – covering damage to home not covered by insurance.
Does my money actually go to the people affected by the fires?
You can be assured that every dollar raised through this appeal will go directly to people affected by the fires.
Can I drop my clothes/blankets/furniture/mattress etc. for you to send to people affected by fire?
At this point, the best way we can support people affected by the bushfires is to make a financial donation. Distributing goods in-kind in the immediate future is difficult due to the cost of transport and the difficulty of getting things through to affected areas because of road closures. Purchasing items locally also enables us to support the local economy by supporting local small businesses.
If you’d like to donate goods, please consider donating to a Vinnies Shop. Funds raised from the sale of items in store allow us to continue to support those in need.
Are there any administration fees taken out of my donation?
Vinnies does not take an administration fee from money donated during disasters. 100% of money donated to the Bushfire Appeal goes to help people affected by fire.
Can I go into my local Vinnies Shop and make a donation to the bushfires?
Yes, you can.
Is my credit card secure?
Yes – our website is secure and your information will be protected.
Is my donation tax deductible?
We are endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office as a Deductible Gift Recipient and therefore gifts of two dollars or more are tax-deductible for you.