Last week, Australia saw an unprecedented flooding emergency in New South Wales, leaving behind a trail of destruction with thousands of people returning to their homes either destroyed or staring at piles of debris.
Many were left homeless and facing the heartbreak of losing their cherished memories.
In New South Wales, the damage bill of this one in 100-year event catastrophe has already exceeded $2 billion and is expected to grow.
James Archer and his young family have lost everything in the floods on the mid-north coast.
Trapped in their home by floodwater for three days, without power or network coverage, on the fourth day the young couple and their three infant children (aged 4, 2, and three months), packed food and belongings and trekked through the bush to reach the neighbors home. They are currently trapped there, cut off from the world.
James has spent the last few years building a bushland paradise for people to hire cabins and spend time in the forest. He has built bridges, roads, and milled timber, all of this has been washed away, as well as their poultry.
Friends have set up a gofundme page for the family out during this heartbreaking time.
Now that the rain has abated, the clean-up and the mission to rebuild communities destroyed by the floods begins.
To help people affected by the severe storms and flooding across New South Wales, caring Australians are encouraged to donate money, items, skills, and services online at GIVIT.org.au. In partnership with the NSW Government, GIVIT is managing donations during this recovery.
With communities significantly impacted, homes left uninhabitable, and many more with severe damage, GIVIT is working with the NSW Government and support organizations on the ground as they assess need and advise what critical and immediate material support is required.
GIVIT.org.au channels generosity where it is needed to support vulnerable people and communities in Australia.
When we asked Kayla Bauer, GIVIT Stakeholder Communications Manager, if is more difficult to help rebuild communities after a flood or bushfire?
She told Kindness and Hope: “After devastating bushfires and floods, it can be traumatic and challenging in both recoveries. Unfortunately in both floods and bushfires, homes can be partially or entirely destroyed, properties significantly damaged and all essential household items lost. With flooding, there’s an additional, and often unseen, impact of mold. While a house may appear relatively unaffected, it may be in fact uninhabitable due to the mold infiltrating walls, kitchens, and ceilings. The cost of mold removal is sometimes too much for people who have lost everything.
“GIVIT responds the same in both disasters. We support local organisations, charities, and recovery services that identify the needs of people impacted, and then, through public donations on GIVIT’s website www.givit.org.au, we’re able to help fill those needs. Our goal is to manage donations to make sure local services aren’t overwhelmed with unrequested donations while ensuring the right donations get to people who need them when they need them.”
The flooding situation in NSW, Australia, is feared to get worse, as more rain is expected to fall in already flooded areas, where already several months worth of rain has fallen in a few days. (Photo taken at Raymond Terrace, Mar 21, 2021) #australiafloods pic.twitter.com/tOAgQ9q9U4
— Foreca (@foreca) March 22, 2021
She says it’s hard to judge how long it will take NSW in the most affected areas to get on back on their feet
“As some communities are still stranded and areas flooded, it is too early to tell when communities will be back on their feet,” she relays. “GIVIT is here to help every step of the way. Donations captured through GIVIT provide immediate relief, through to long-term recovery support as people rebuild their homes months, sometimes years later. GIVIT is still working on the recovery of the 2019 North Queensland floods as homes continue to be rebuilt.”
And for those who have lost their homes and now find themselves homeless, what are their options?
“Resilience NSW encourages people looking for disaster assistance to visit Service NSW on www.service.nsw.gov.au or phone 13 77 88,” she says. Recovery Centres will open soon, where people impacted by the floods can go to seek help. GIVIT works with support organisations in those Recovery Centres as they identify needs and list those items and services needed on www.givit.org.au. Then, donors are able to see those needs and donate in response.
“In the immediate response phase after an emergency, we often provide food and fuel vouchers as well as critical items needed in evacuation centres such as beds and toiletry items. As the recovery continues and people begin returning home, GIVIT helps provide household items, furniture, and work equipment. There will be a huge amount of support needed in this recovery, please donate via www.givit.org.au.”
So far, Coles has pledged up to $1 million to help people and communities devastated by the NSW and QLD floods.
You can give at any
First Choice Liquor Market or Vintage Cellars store in QLD and NSW.
Coles will match your donations dollar for dollar!
Let’s keep the generosity pouring in Australia and #GIVTheSmartWay!