Bushfire donations distributed to affected individuals and communities
First Bushfire Disaster Appeal funds distributed to provide immediate support
The first allocation of funds raised through Bendigo Bank’s national Bushfire Disaster Appeal, in partnership with The Salvation Army, have been distributed to affected Australian communities.
One hundred percent of the $28.6 million already raised from 131,000 donors in the Appeal will be distributed directly to affected communities - both now and in the long-term - to meet their specific needs as they change. Importantly, fund distribution decisions are being informed by local communities, for local communities.
Funds for affected individuals and communities focusing on the short, medium and long-term will be distributed to meet current and emerging needs such as: providing immediate relief, rebuilding the social fabric of communities, stimulating economic development and improving social inclusion. Examples include funds to purchase fodder for livestock, vital infrastructure and generators for essential power.
Families and businesses on Kangaroo Island - which has seen bushfires burn almost half of the Island (more than 200,000 hectares) - have already received generators to provide them with essential access to electricity to help them get back on their feet. The generators were purchased locally, at Mitre 10 Kingscote, to ensure the investment stays within the local economy.
“From donations as small as $2 up to $2 million, Australians have been incredibly generous in supporting the Appeal and we thank everyone for their support - from the kids emptying their piggy banks in our branches, to larger corporate and Government partners such as United Petroleum, The Victorian Government, Crown Resorts and Provincial Home Living,” said Alexandra Gartmann, Executive Corporate Affairs, Bendigo Bank.
United Petroleum, one of the Appeal’s larger donors, contributed $1 million to the Appeal, its CEO Gary Brinkworth said: “As a 100 percent Australian owned and operated company, United Petroleum is pleased to have been able to donate to this fund to help the communities we serve. As a member of these communities, we know these practical and essential donations will help with the immediate as well as the long-term recovery, so we are very proud to be able to support with our donation.”
Packer Family Foundation Founder, James Packer said: “Australians are digging deep to support each other in these tough times, it’s truly inspiring. My family and Crown are eager to do more and the best way we can help is through our donation.”
Jade Kammergruber, CEO, Provincial Home Living said: “As a proud, family-owned Australian business with our origins planted firmly in regional Victorian communities, it has been heartbreaking to watch the devastation that has been caused by these fires across our country. We are confident that donations will be wisely distributed, with local consultation to those in need now and in the coming months.”
Concluding, Gartmann said: “Disaster recovery is a marathon, not a sprint and we are in this for the long haul. Funds are already being directed to immediate relief efforts and will also be used in the medium to longer term recovery for families and communities, which from hands on experience can take many years. As the disaster and its impacts continues to unfold, we are committed to supporting affected communities in the weeks, months and years to come.”
More details on Bendigo Bank’s holistic and practical bushfire disaster support for affected customers, communities, partners and staff are available here.