Australia bushfires update
Publilc shows faith in Salvation Army as appeal raises millions of dollars.
The Salvation Army in Australia provided financial, material and emotional support to emergency workers and victims of the bushfires in the state of Victoria. With 11 fires still burning out of control at the time of this report, 7,000 people were homeless and the death toll stood at 189.
More than 250 Army volunteers worked around the clock at 12 locations. They served approximately 3,000 meals a day to firefighters and other emergency services personnel. Also underway is an outreach program to families who have returned to their damaged properties.
The Australian Southern Territory’s public appeal has so far raised almost US$8 million dollars with over $1.6 million already used to assist almost 5,000 adults and 2,000 children.
As the focus moves from emergency relief to a sustainable recovery, a dedicated central call center has been set up to handle calls from fire-affected people. The center is expected to be in place for up to 18 months. Corporate support for The Salvation Army continues to be strong, with three warehouses secured to receive and sort donated goods prior to distribution.
Two Salvationists have lost family members in the fires and one employee is now homeless. In addition to the loss of the Overdale Rural Rehabilitation Centre, the fires also destroyed Camp Bambara at Kilmore, a youth camp operated by Westcare Child and Adolescent Services.
Colonel Raymond Finger, chief secretary, Australia Southern Territory, writing on behalf of Territorial Commander Commissioner James Knaggs, said: “We are very grateful for the generous support of the Australian public and for the worldwide prayer focus on our nation at this time.”
For more information or to donate, visit www.salvationarmy.org.au/ and select Australia Southern Territory.