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Salvos launch bushfire disaster appeal - $3m target as NSW declares state of emergency

The Salvation Army has launched a Bushfire Disaster Appeal to support communities affected by the devastating bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland.

flames near nursing home Forster FB Jacki Pocock
 Flames near a nursing home in Forster, NSW. (photo Jacki Pocock Facebook)

The Salvos have deployed relief teams to provide food and water, along with emotional and practical support to emergency services personnel and displaced people as they arrive at evacuation centres.

“The Salvation Army is already preparing for the recovery phase of this disaster,” said Salvation Army spokesperson Major Bruce Harmer. “We know from experience many of those displaced by the fires are going to need us for many months or years ahead. We are committed to standing alongside these communities for as long as it takes to get them back on their feet.”

Salvation Army Emergency Services (SAES) teams are active across 12 evacuation centres through NSW and Queensland, with another evacuation centre established this week in Lismore, northern NSW. SAES teams are on standby in other areas.

“What is unfolding across New South Wales and Queensland is unprecedented,” Harmer said. “I appeal to the Australian community for an unprecedented response to our disaster appeal. These communities are going to need unprecedented support and we’ll be there to support them for the long haul. Australians are well known for standing together in times of hardship. Now is such a time. Having spoken to many displaced people, it’s very apparent how emotionally they are spent. Many have no idea of the state of their properties and are under the pressure of uncertainty for today, let alone tomorrow and the months ahead.”

The Bushfire Disaster Appeal has been bolstered by Woolworths’ $500,000 donation. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced a $50,000 donation from the State Government.

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To donate to The Salvation Army Bushfire Disaster Appeal, go to https://www.salvationarmy.org.au, call 13 SALVOS (13 72 58) or donate at any Woolworths checkout.  (During times of need The Salvation Army is inundated with public generosity, however, our teams on the front line are requesting cash donations as they allow us to provide immediate assistance to the community).