$2m bushfire donation to help affected areas

BUSHFIRES: Local CFS are thankful for all the generous support. Photo: Supplied
BUSHFIRES: Local CFS are thankful for all the generous support. Photo: Supplied

The Australian Red Cross has received a donation of $2 million to support emergency relief efforts in bushfire affected areas.

This donation from the BHP Foundation will assist the Australian Red Cross in providing psychological first aid, evacuation centres and cash grants to people who have lost everything.

"Over 200 Red Cross staff and volunteers in SA have been supporting respective communities providing psychological first aid, registration services and telephone wellbeing checks," Naracoorte Red Cross member Pat Bourne said.

"We're proud to partner with the ABC for its New Year's Eve 2019 donation drive.

"This will enable us ... to provide ($5000) per family for those who have lost their homes.

"We thank everyone for their incredible generosity to Australian Red Cross and people affected by bushfire emergencies around the country.

"Over $16 million has been raised since our New Years Eve special event."

Ms Bourne told the Herald as of January 3, another relief centre was opened at Kingscote Football Club with about 500 people camped within the centre and 45 people sleeping inside the Relief Centre.

"At the request of Housing SA, our volunteers also attend all community meetings."

The loss of lives and livelihoods from the bushfires is tragic.

Fires have burnt through 10 million hectares across Australia.

They have destroyed more than 2200 homes, and some regional communities have evacuated and some people are missing.

The continuing impact on people, communities and their land and livelihood is devastating and widespread across Australia.

Additionally, the BHP Olympic Dam team is donating $100,000 to the local CFS Foundation to support local bushfire volunteers with ongoing physical and mental wellbeing support.

"It's always refreshing to see bigger businesses take an interest and support local communities and the volunteer services that are provided within them," Naracoorte CFS brigade captain Steve Hosking said.

"In particular, it's great to see an acknowledgement of and a donation towards assisting with physical and mental health.

"It's not something that is generally spoken about or well publicised.

"But it is an issue that can last long into the future."

The Naracoorte CFS currently have members deployed to Kangaroo Island. The Herald wish everyone a safe return to South Australia.