How to Donate to Flood-Affected Communities So Your Money and Goods Actually Go to Them

Northern Rivers flood

Less than a month after the freak floods in northern NSW and southern Queensland that left thousands of people homeless, the relentless rain is back, flooding in these same areas yet again.

And while we wait to assess the damage caused by this second wave, in the meantime, we’re all no doubt looking for any way we can help. Because the $1000 disaster payments the government has given affected residents are woefully insufficient, the communities there are desperately in need of whatever help they can get.

But how can you make sure your donation actually gets to those who need it most and that, if it’s an item you’re donating, it’s actually what they need?

Well, you might want to consider only donating through these two official donation channels: the Red Cross appeal — they’re providing psychological support to victims at various evacuation centres — and non-for-profit GIVIT.

The charity has partnered with the NSW Government to work alongside other charities to assess and advise what critical and immediate material support is needed, as well as to assist with the management of donated money and offers of goods and services.

northern rivers floods 2022
Image: Getty Images

“Every time there is a crisis we see community members standing up to help neighbours and strangers alike,” Resilience NSW Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said in a media statement.

“This community spirit is an inspiring and uniquely Australian trait that we want to encourage, but we need people to do it in the manner that will ensure local charities and recovery organisations aren’t inundated with donations they don’t need.

“The best way people can help communities in times of need is via the official donations channels. Our arrangement with GIVIT allows councils, outreach teams, local charities and community groups to tell us exactly what’s needed. Then, we work to meet these needs through an online warehouse or by purchasing requested items locally using donated funds.”

Donate and learn more about GIVIT’s storm and flood appeal, or donate at the Red Cross flood appeal.

Individuals themselves who have been affected by the flooding have also been sharing their own donation pages to cover their own costs. Though it’s advised that you donate through those official channels, if you do feel compelled to donate to an individual or organisation directly make sure you do your research and confirm the money or goods will be going to the intended recipient.

Hunger relief organisation Foodbank is also organising crisis hampers to be sent out across the affected suburbs along northern NSW and southeast Queensland. You can donate to Foodbank on their official site. Many local businesses, including @papaya.lennox, as well as Sikh Volunteers Australia are giving meals to those in need and asking for donations.

A new website Recovery Project 2022 has also been set up with information on how to help in the Northern Rivers. There you’ll find links to detailed info on how to offer housing, volunteer your services, skills or trade, volunteer on the ground, donate living essentials and donate food to hubs.

For emergency help, call SES in NSW or QLD on 132 500.

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