Drought-affected communities say Australians’ misplaced generosity is hampering the relief efforts of charities on the ground, but one not for profit is coordinating the social sector’s response to ensure people get the help they need.
Online charity GIVIT has partnered with the New South Wales government to manage offers of assistance for farmers, their families and rural communities experiencing hardship during the drought.
The charity said the carloads of unsolicited food hampers and tin cans arriving in drought-stricken towns was well meaning, but not the help that was needed.
One grazier from the western Queensland-NSW border said on radio recently, that while residents were grateful for the support, they did not need food hampers or second-hand clothing.
“We’re not starving and we don’t need old, dirty clothes,’’ she said.
GIVIT CEO and founder Juliette Wright told Pro Bono News the influx of items that could be purchased in local communities through donated gift cards was seriously damaging the viability of small towns.
“When people see what people are suffering in drought-affected areas they want to help and it’s phenomenal. But people are also delivering things that aren’t needed in particular areas,” Wright said.
“We are finding there’s a lot of food sent out to these communities, and this has negatively impacted the retailers and the small traders in town who are doing it tough.
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