When disaster strikes and we’re feeling helpless, many of us have one question that we need answered — how can I help?
Image: Jason O'Brien / Australian Associated Press
What’s Happening In QLD & NSW?
In recent days, deadly flooding has swept across Queensland and New South Wales. Thousands of people have been displaced by the extreme weather, and many are still reported missing. Sadly, 17 people so far have been claimed by the floods. Food, fuel and water is scarce, and power and internet outages have made it difficult for the afflicted to seek help.
In Mullumbimby, NSW, residents described the area as a “war zone” — with record-breaking floods and landslides sweeping away roads and bridges, leading to a decline in clean drinking water and food for residents. In south-east Queensland, power restoration efforts have been hampered by incredible storms with more than 600,000 lighting strikes. According to Nine News, more than 60,000 insurance claims have been lodged between QLD and NSW — totalling more than $900 million in damages. *As of 6/3/22
Image: Australia Red Cross
DONATE To Emergency Services & Charities
The Australian Red Cross and St Vincent de Paul Society (Vinnies) are accepting donations to provide urgent relief and humanitarian support in both QLD and NSW. These donations will enable volunteers and staff to help people in relief centres, provide food, clothing and other essentials to flood victims, and support communities in their efforts to rebuild.
To support volunteers and rescue efforts, you can donate to the Queensland SES here, and the New South Wales SES here. Food Bank Australia has launched appeals in Queensland and New South Wales. 100% of the funds donated will help to deliver food and water to those who need it most. WWF-Australia has launched an Emergency Floods Appeal to help stranded, struggling and injured animals across QLD and NSW. Your donation will support carers and vets to nurse animals back to health!
Image: Patrick Hamilton / Agence France-Presse
DONATE Via GIVIT & GoFundMe
GIVIT — in partnership with QLD and NSW Governments — is a platform where you can donate items, funds and volunteer time to flood-affected victims. GIVIT allows you to click on an item that victims are requesting to ‘FUND’ or ‘GIVIT’. There are currently 80,816 items that are needed right now — like vouchers for groceries, fuel, cleaning supplies and whitegoods.
Koori Mail have organised a Bundjalung Community Flood Relief GoFundMe page, where you can donate directly to flood-impacted people in rural and isolated communities. The funds will be used for temporary accommodation, medical supplies, baby supplies, food vouchers, clean drinking water, clothing and dry linen, temporary camping gear, and sanitary items.
Image: Darren England / EPA
VOLUNTEER In QLD & NSW
With horrifying scenes emerging across QLD and NSW, many of us are wondering how we can offer assistance! In some areas, severe weather and flood warnings are still in place, and in other areas, the post-flood clean-up has begun.
If you live in or near a flood-affected region, you can register as an emergency volunteer crew member. If you’re in Queensland, Brisbane City Council is calling on volunteers to sign up to the Mud Army 2.0 to help clean up damaged areas. More than 10,000 people have registered so far! You can also register as an Emergency Volunteer with Volunteering Queensland to help a specific Council area.
If you’re in NSW, the NSW State Emergency Service (SES) is taking on ‘spontaneous volunteers’ to support communities during and after severe weather events.
Image: Sikh Volunteers Australia
The Good News + Unsung Heroes!
In times of crisis, we truly see the best in humanity. We’ve come across countless individuals, businesses and community groups going above and beyond to help — here's a few.
Sikh Volunteers Australia recently handed out more than 1,500 delicious, free meals to residents in Lismore, NSW. From Melbourne, the Sikh volunteers travelled for 35 hours to reach the flood-devastated town. Read more here.
We came across @your.mate.benny. He has been documenting his boat rescues via Instagram this week, including an elderly woman floating on a mattress in her home.
Gold Coast’s leading creatives have organised a fundraising event — FLOOD RAISER. The proceeds will be evenly donated across 3 charities: GIVIT, SES QLD, and Wildcare Australia.
In times of crisis, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, small, and helpless. Right now, many Australian communities are struggling to overcome the worst floods in living memory. Those in QLD and NSW need urgent support in practical terms (search, rescues, clean-up efforts, access to food, water, medical supplies, and fuel), but they will also need your emotional support long after the floods have subsided.
It’s time to show up and help your fellow Australians! Whether you donate your money, time, or unused goods, volunteer to help on the ground, or share helpful resources on social media — you’re making a difference.