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ABC Flood Appeal raises over $339,000 for NSW flood recovery

Hitting $100,000 in donations in the ABC NSW Flood AppealAfter a week-long radio appeal, the incredible teams at ABC radio stations across New South Wales along with very generous listeners, raising a whopping $339,959 for GIVIT's flood recovery.

It's been over two months since the devastating floods hit widespread parts of New South Wales, destroying homes, properties and livelihoods. For the thousands affected across the state, the long journey to recovery is just beginning.

We partnered with ABC Radio Sydney to supercharge the donations filtering through to affected areas. On Thursday 27 May, staff and volunteers spent 16 hours answering phones and accepting donations from big-hearted ABC listeners.

Heart-warming tales of generosity

This remarkable generosity from the ABC will go a long way towards the short and long-term recovery of people left devastated by the recent floods, with 100% of money donated being used to purchase essential items and services. While taking calls from ABC listeners, we were treated to some stunning tales of generosity. Some first-hand accounts from GIVIT staff and volunteers are below.

  • A gentleman donated $1,000 to the ABC Flood Appeal on his 60th wedding anniversary. His wife passed five years ago, and he knew she would have wanted him to help people impacted by these floods.
  • A woman who is suffering long-term health effects from COVID donated to the appeal. She said she felt privileged compared to those people impacted by the floods. She wanted to donate and give back, and told us to "keep going!"
  • A lady donated $300 and said "I didn't think twice about giving. It's much easier to donate than to be the one dealing with a house full of mud and water and all possessions gone. We're lucky to be the ones giving."
  • A donor who said he had $11 in his bank account, donated $10 of that to the ABC Flood Appeal. His reasoning was "what goes around, comes around."
  • An elderly lady had recently had heart surgery, and had set aside money to cover medical costs. Upon finding out 100% of surgery costs had been covered by her private health cover, she decided to donate $1,000 to help people affected by floods in NSW.
  • A single mum who'd escaped a domestic violence situation donated to the appeal, saying she wouldn't have got through her own tough time without kind people to support her. 

Money making a difference in impacted communities

An elderly widow at Taree had her marital home flooded. She is still grieving the loss of her husband and is struggling with the scale of loss losing her material possessions. She is currently living in emergency accommodation and needed help getting her home fit for occupation again.

With money raised through the ABC Flood Appeal, GIVIT was able to purchase doors and locks for the property, as the lack of security and fears of squatters was causing this woman significant stress. A bed base and bedding were also purchased for her, with Fantastic Furniture Taree kindly donating a mattress as well. Electrical work to rewire this woman’s house was also kindly given by the Marine Rescue NSW, after the Director called in during the ABC Flood Appeal to say their group of volunteers would be willing to donate time and services.

This woman has since shared that she is so incredibly grateful for everyone’s support which is allowing her to rebuild her home. The local organisation working with her said it was the first time they’d spoken to this woman since the floods that she wasn’t in tears. 

To use the cash to get into these local communities that are impacted, to turn over profit, to turn over business expenditure in the local economy is really, really important. Buying local, giving local, prioritising local – it makes a massive difference – and they [GIVIT] have the logistics and they’ve got the connections and the ability to get to individuals, to community groups, to local businesses and even community organisations that are directly there trying to make a difference to local communities – they support them as well.

It’s that ability to identify, source and match directly which is the real strength of the GIVIT connection and we’re really proud to have a partnership with them because it’s making a discernible, meaningful, personal difference to all those impacted and affected in these local community areas.

SHANE FITZSIMMONS, COMMISSIONER OF RESILIENCE NSW, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH ABC RADIO SYDNEY

NSW Minister for Disaster Recovery praises appeal for ensuring 100% of funds go to where it's needed

“I love how Australians are generous, and GIVIT, what a great organisation for ABC to partner with. I’ve partnered with them in the past through drought, through bushfires and now we’re doing it through floods.”

“They [GIVIT] spend that money in the local community, I saw that first-hand in the worst drought. We were in a small town in the northern tablelands and GIVIT turned up and we walked into a hairdresser and they gave the hairdresser about $1200 worth of vouchers, put it through the eftpos machine of the hairdresser. That meant the hairdresser could now offer haircuts for about 40 / 50 people which, in the midst of the drought, a lot of farmers, farmer wives and kids miss out on. I’ve seen GIVIT at its best so that’s why I think it’s a great partnership for you guys and you get to fill the gaps where government and community groups and local communities can’t do it.”

NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Disaster Recovery, The Hon. John Barilaro MP.

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