2019 Queensland Floods
When the monsoonal rains and devastating floods hit Townsville in early 2019, GIVIT co-ordinated the spending of over $3.5million of donated funds locally and the distribution of over 227,000 items. We partnered with 55 local charities and community groups, who identified what was needed to help those most vulnerable get back on track with their lives. Looking back a year later, we remembered all over again, just how generous Australians are when it comes to helping each other through a disaster.
As a result of the floods, thousands of people were displaced with literally the clothes on their backs. Initially, GIVIT co-ordinated requests for vouchers to provide food, fuel, clothing, personal hygiene, and cleaning products. As the waters receded and residents returned home, purchases shifted to items to create ‘liveable’ homes. White goods, electrical appliances, furniture, linen, kitchen utensils, and hardware tools were, wherever possible, bought through local Townsville businesses.
With requests for essential recovery items met, GIVIT continued to work with the Queensland Government to direct funds towards making vulnerable residents’ homes safe and habitable. GIVIT purchased the services of local businesses and tradies to carry out 40 plus home repair projects. Essential repairs helped, amongst many, a father with children suffering severe medical issues, someone living with brain damage, and a cancer survivor with limited income.
One particular Townsville resident did it exceptionally tough at the time. Recently laid off after a bad injury at work, the stress piled on further when the floods meant his family had to leave their home. Returning to see it was also hard, given the extensive damage and damp. At this point, GIVIT stepped in to arrange for Townsville Extensions and Renovations to carry out the $65 000 of work necessary to make the home safe and habitable. The grateful resident explained the impact:
“The injury and the treatment is hard, but the floods and the stress made everything really bad. Specialists say if I keep using my hand at work or to lift and fix things it will only be made worse. Luckily, people like GIVIT came just at the right time, as I was beginning to lose hope.
Thank you so much to GIVIT, and the local charities and government for helping us. Sometimes you get lost and feel like no one is there for you. It really helps when people come visit you and help you with repairs to get rid of the water for good. The repairs to our home have helped us get back on track.”
Throughout the disaster response, GIVIT worked directly with numerous national organisations and Townsville Community Groups. These included: the Australian Red Cross; DCDSS; North Townsville Community Hub; Uniting Care Community; St Vincent de Paul Society; Townsville City Council; Wee Care Residential; Townsville Central City Mission; and YWAM Townsville Association.
It never ceases to amaze us here at GIVIT how, even in the toughest of times, so much can be achieved when people work together to get those most in need the right help at the right time.