Tumut, Bemboka and Broulee were visited by the 2020 Australian Super Rugby champions, the Brumbies, and national online charity GIVIT last week, as they provided financial support and a morale boost for residents struggling in the aftermath of last summer’s bushfires and the economic impacts of COVID-19.
The “meet the locals” day was supported by the ‘Brumbies rugby bushfire appeal’, which raised over $50,000 for GIVIT’s NSW Bushfires Appeal thanks to donations from Plus500 and Brumbies supporters, both online and on match days.
GIVIT regional NSW manager Caroline Odgers said the charity’s key focus was to continue engaging their network of donors and ensure no resident or bushfire-affected community was forgotten.
“From Kiah to Queanbeyan, Broulee to Batlow and the dozens of incredible bushfire-hit communities across New South Wales, donations from the champion Brumbies and their supporters have allowed GIVIT to provide exactly what’s needed by stoic locals in need,” said Ms Odgers.
She said almost a year on from the bushfires, the community’s needs were focused on repairing homes and collecting and distributing items to best support the health of those affected.
“There’s still a need for water tanks, generators and tools, but we’re also seeing requests for items to support people’s wellbeing such as beehives, seedlings, canoes, guitars and sewing machines. It’s so important to make these communities feel that they are supported and not forgotten.”
GIVIT has coordinated more than 120,000 items to support NSW communities, including gas ovens and converted shipping containers for families camping on their properties, to hardware equipment and snake bite first aid kits for those hours away from medical assistance.
GIVIT has also sourced donations of sporting equipment, gardening equipment and fire-fighting pumps for the most vulnerable.
Plus500 Brumbies CEO Phil Thomson said as a team and an organisation they were proud to have helped raise money for a worthy cause.
“The bushfire crisis affected all of us in our region, and it’s important for us at the Brumbies to play our part in the healing and rebuilding process,” Mr Thomson said.
“We want to thank our naming rights Partners Plus500, who have been incredibly generous in their support of this initiative, showing their commitment not only to our rugby team, but to the community that supports it.
“It was an emotional day, meeting those people who were so heavily affected by the crisis, and who have benefited from this funding and we’re so glad we could see the great work that’s being done to help in their recovery.”
100% of donated funds GIVIT receives are used to purchase items for people in need. To donate or find more information about GIVIT’s NSW Bushfires Appeal, visit GIVIT.org.au/nsw-bushfires.