Online charity helps struggling bushfire affected residents
AN ONLINE charity that’s a “smarter way of giving” is providing vulnerable bushfire-affected residents on the North Coast exactly what they need to continue rebuilding their lives.
GIVIT is a free online platform where Australians can donate new or used items, services or cash, which is then directed and dispersed to local registered charities.
NSW North Coast Engagement Officer, Denim Rose has been working closely with local charities and community groups to co-ordinate donations of specific items requested by people in need – due to ongoing drought conditions, devastating bushfires and the economic effects of COVID-19 restrictions.
Since January, GIVIT has co-ordinated hundreds of items valued at thousands of dollars for local businesses in Lismore and Kempsey.
The Australian Red Cross in Lismore recently received $2000 worth of vouchers for the Whiporie local store (the only provider of fuel, food and post in the remote community).
The vouchers allowed residents to be able to purchase everyday items, and gave the local store a much-needed boost.
Red Cross Lismore also received a generator, to assist 12 bushfire-affected families in the Lismore and Casino areas, plus camping equipment was donated to Winsome Soup Kitchen to assist their services in supporting the growing homeless community who have been displaced due to bushfires.
YWCA Australia, Northern Rivers were caring for families still recovering from the bushfire and are struggling to afford basic items.
Their hardships have also been exacerbated by COVID-19 restrictions. GIVIT co-ordinated donations of toilet paper and hand sanitiser, and is working on further grocery vouchers for families across the region.
Ms Rose said the service made giving easy by allowing people to see exactly what vulnerable community members need.
“GIVIT allows people to log on and see what is needed in that local area and makes it a more efficient and smarter way to donate,” Ms Rose said.
“Local charities can register to check what people are donating and put a specific request on the website and hopefully it gets matched up.
“We’ve had the drought, the bushfires and now we’ve got COVID-19 – we will continue to support charities through all of these crises. COVID-19 is an added level of stress for people who are already struggling in the community or rebuilding from last summer’s bushfires.
“The charities we work with really know their communities, so the recipients are incredibly grateful because it’s exactly what the organisation or the person receiving support from the charity needs.”
There are 3000 charities registered with the not-for-profit organisation, nationwide.
For more information visit http://givit.org.au/