Nation urged to dig deep to support people affected by floods

Red Cross

Australian Red Cross is urging the nation to dig deep for tomorrow’s (Saturday 12 March) telethon to support flood-stricken communities across Queensland and New South Wales.

“All the funds raised during the Telethon will be distributed as cash grants to people affected by the floods,” Red Cross CEO, Kym Pfitzner said.

“We’re hoping it will be an enormous success, as we will be able to give everything we raise. Hundreds of thousands of people have been affected by these floods, and the need for assistance can’t be over- estimated.

“Red Cross is grateful for the efforts of Channels 9, 7 and 10, who are coming together in a television first to unite the nation to support those impacted by the floods through a night of musical entertainment from Australian stars.”

The Australia Unites telethon will run across the three networks simultaneously from 7:30-10:30pm (AEDT) Saturday.

Funds raised through the telethon will support two types of cash grants:

  • Bereavement Grants to support senior next-of-kin of those who died as a direct result of the floods with immediate needs (funeral and other related expenses). 

  • Cash grant (the Relief Grant) to help with basic needs such as food, clothing or personal items for people whose principal place of residence was impacted by the floods and who are experiencing financial hardship as a result.

Grant applications will open on 18 March.

“We are already working to contact bereaved families offering a contribution to their immediate financial needs.

“The size of the Relief Grant will be determined by the generosity of people from across Australia. 100% of what we raise from the Telethon will go as cash assistance to people whose homes have been damaged, and those who are bereaved,” he said.

Mr Pfitzner stressed that the generosity of the broadcast networks and celebrities behind the telethon, along with other major supporters, meant that no telethon funds would be used for essential operating costs.

He said funds raised through the overarching Red Cross appeal, either side of the telethon, would help support response and recovery work across flooded areas.

“To date, we have more than 630 people in the field and have supported people in 59 evacuation and relief centres and 29 recovery hubs, ensuring people have a safe place to sleep and access to food and water, and connecting them with the services and other help they need. So far, we have helped more than 12,000 people on the ground.  

“The damage is immense and widespread, and it’s going to take a long time to recover, but Red Cross will be there for communities for the long haul, working side by side with our not for profit and government partners in the affected areas.

“We’re tremendously grateful for the support of the broadcast network along with Coles, Australia Post, the Commonwealth Bank and PayPal who are helping fundraise in stores and online.

/Public Release.