Following Brisbane’s largest downpour on record that’s seen over 15,000 homes flooded, it’s time to look at the ways we can all help those affected in South East Queensland and northern New South Wales.
Whether you’re able to donate time, money or goods to help people rebuild, we’ve collected some ways you can help those affected by our most recent natural disaster.
Volunteer For Flood Clean-Up And Support
Following the incredible outpouring of assistance following the 2011 floods, Brisbane City Council has activated the Mud Army 2.0 to assist with the clean-up. You can sign up via Volunteering Queensland here to provide assistance across the Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan and Gold Coast city councils, and they’ll match your available skills and capabilities with the areas that need you.
Crisis Heroes is also a great platform that allows you to offer specific skills or services that those in need can call on. If you’re keen to volunteer in your local area, check with your councillor’s office as many are coordinating locals' requests for, and offers of, assistance.
A big learning from the 2011 Mud Army was to double-check before removing/chucking any property, even if it’s damaged, as lots of salvageable or sentimental items were tossed by well-meaning volunteers. As you’re cleaning out homes or businesses, consider offering to clean/salvage things from your own home before dropping them back.
Another hands-on way to offer immediate help is to contact the RSPCA if you’re able to foster an animal— their resources are extremely stretched following natural disasters, and some of their centres have been affected too.
Donate Goods And Money
The government’s official partner for donations is Givit, which is a smarter way to donate thanks to their system of matching specific requests and monetary donations with individual and corporate donors. Givit will be distributing across flood-affected areas in Queensland and New South Wales.
As well as the big ones like the Australian Red Cross Society, Lifeline Queensland and the SES, your local charity shops can also divert goods (preferably new or near-new) to those in need, and local animal shelters or hospitals typically get overwhelmed following natural disasters. You'll probably see a lot of individual GoFundMe campaigns on your socials, and you can assist by donating or sharing them yourself so they reach a wider audience.
More incredible local organisations to donate to include Orange Sky Australia (which has deployed their free mobile laundry vans to affected areas), and Share The Dignity, which is coordinating the delivery of sanitary and toiletry products across the region.
Community and personal connections are so important at a time like this, so be sure to keep the door open for those who have been affected, or elderly or vulnerable residents who might not be able to access their usual support network.
This could be as simple as sending a message to someone you know who’s been affected, or just lending an ear if they need to talk about how they’re feeling. Just let them guide you, and be receptive to doing as little or as much as affected individuals, families and businesses need.
Suburban Facebook groups are also a good way to connect with those in need directly, so you could offer your outlets for people to charge devices, to drop off groceries, do loads of washing, or deliver hot meals.