In horror and absolute shock, Australians – and the rest of the world – watched the devastation, grief and loss claimed by the rampant and relentless bushfires.
To date, there have been 27 fatalities, over 2,600 homes destroyed, and 11 million hectares of land burned. An estimated 1.25 billion native animals have perished.
The Australian summer is far from over as more bushfires are anticipated.
As the slow process of recovery begins, thousands of families are left homeless and countless small businesses have shut down. Thousands of Australian wildlife are injured and suffering. All in immediate need for financial assistance.
While the Morrison government has so far pledged 2 billion dollars in fire relief, the funds are allocated over two years. Those affected need funding much sooner.
Cash: The most practical solution
Throughout the bushfire disasters, Australians have rallied and donated generously with perishable goods, clothes and toys. Such generosity has been truly appreciated and welcomed. However, the transport and storage of these donations can be a logistical nightmare for charities and aid agencies.
Sorting of clothes and food items is arduous work and time-consuming. Especially when volunteers are already stretched to their limits.
Speaking on behalf of charities and aid agencies, the Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews urged the public on Twitter donate cash rather than physical donations.
“I don’t want this to seem harsh or ungrateful in any way. But I have an important message from our relief agencies on the ground: There is no more room for physical donations of clothes and food – and no time to sort them,” the Premier’s message stated.
Euan Ferguson, Northern NSW’s recovery coordinator for the state’s Office of Emergency explained to the Sydney Morning Herald how cash donations are the practical solution for disaster relief.
Ferguson also stated that cash provided the affected local communities and small businesses a kick-along, helping them get back on their feet.
“It also empowers people who have lost everything…to buy stuff they want to the standard, and in the size, they want,” he said.
Charities providing prepaid cards
Disasters occur quickly, leaving people very little, if any, time to evacuate or prepare themselves with the bare essentials. Then there are the ongoing struggles in searching temporary housing, food and other daily necessities.
Charities and aid organisations not only hold the heavy responsibility of providing financial aid to the affected areas, its crucial to get funding out there fast.
For the NSW mid-north coast region of Manning, the local Rotary Club of Taree collected donations from the community then transferred the funds to EFTPOS cards which were then distributed to people in the Manning region who lost their homes and belongings in the bushfires.
For those in greater need, the club was able to provide extra funding promptly and efficiently through the EFTPOS cards.
Further north towards the Port Macquarie area, the Rapid Relief Team, a charitable organisation supported local families affected by the bushfires with a free lunch and a $1,000 gift card. With access to over 100 retailers, card recipients were given a small but significant kick start to reclaim their lives.
Prepaid cards allow victims to address their specific needs, rather than being limited to whatever hard goods being donated. Prepaid cards can be distributed by charities efficiently and equally with minimal paperwork and administration.
Activation of the cards can also be a simple and secure process. Once the recipient receives an activated card, there is immediate access to ATM’s and online purchasing.
Above all, prepaid cards allow victims regain control of their recovery. They have the autonomy and flexibility to rebuild their lives in accordance to their own standards and personal needs.
We understand the struggles charities face in allocating and distributing support to those in need. As such, we’re looking to partner with charities to provide financial support efficiently and with ease through the form of prepaid credit cards, available to use online and anywhere EFTPOS is accepted.
If you work with a charity looking to aid those affected by the fires, please contact Lawrence Montgomery via email at [email protected] or phone 1300 181 032.