Tuesday 24th March 2009
The fundraising response to Victoria’s Black Saturday fires has been astonishing, and inspiring. Across Australia, individuals, groups and corporations have donated over $100 million to the Australian Red Cross fire relief fund.
Summit Care, which owns and runs eight nursing homes across Sydney, has made a corporate donation of $5000, and is encouraging its staff, as well as its residents and their families, to donate to the fund.
Ruth Whiting, AiN and branch official at Summit’s Elizabeth Gardens Nursing Home in Liverpool, said nurses have been quick to respond to the needs of the devastated Victorian communities.
‘Empathy is something that nurses have in spades, so we have all been very sad to see the news reports about the suffering in Victoria. A lot of people had been donating to the fund,’ said Ruth.
The CEO of Summit Care, Cynthia Payne, had a special motivation to encourage a broad fundraising effort, having lost family members in a house fire in 1997.
‘As someone who has lost four family members in a fire, I can only feel intense sadness for the families in Victoria, and it will take some time for the full impact to be fully appreciated. Donating money is a practical way for people in NSW to help,’ said Cynthia.
Donation from NSWNA
The NSWNA has donated $20,000 to the Australian Red Cross as part of the nation-wide fire relief effort.
General Secretary Brett Holmes said the NSWNA has been deeply shocked by the scale and impact of the Victorian bushfires. ‘Many NSWNA officials and members have family members and friends who have been affected and we extend our deepest condolences to these colleagues.
‘While the tragedy is one of the worst in Australia’s history, it has also brought out true spirit of nursing. Nurses have rallied both individually and at work, to help the many Australians caught up in the fires.
‘I commend the Victorian nurses who are working on the frontline, and also those who are waiting on standby to confront the fires first hand as volunteer fire fighters. I also commend nurses who have made financial and blood donations to help those who have lost so much,’ said Brett.
The $20,000 donation will go towards the needs of the individuals and com-mu-ni-ties affected in the fires. An inde-pen-dent panel made up of com-munity leaders will allocate the funds according to need, says the Red Cross.
The NSWNA has also encouraged its employees to donate blood during working hours, and its members to do so whenever they can. On the Monday following the Black Saturday fires, the Red Cross received over 6000 offers for blood donations. However, the burns patients will need transfusions for a long time to come, and it is important that such generosity continues.