Devastating bushfires have made for a tough summer across many parts of Australia, including Kangaroo Island and the Adelaide Hills.
The generous spirit of Australians has shone through during this difficult time with our willingness to volunteer time and put our hands in our pockets to raise millions for disaster relief.
The Australian National University recently released research that found the bushfire crisis impacted three out of four Australians, either directly or indirectly. With stats like that, it’s no wonder our nation dug deep to donate.
Our hearts go out to those impacted by the devastating bushfires and we know the recovery will be a marathon not a sprint, but we must also think about the local South Australian charities that provide vital services in our communities and rely on our donations to continue to exist.
While much has been made in the media about the overwhelming generosity to bushfire relief funds, there has been little discussion about the unintended consequences on charities not necessarily involved in the recovery.
These local South Australian charities need our help. Maybe now more than ever.
Because, without over-simplifying it, the need to feed homeless people, undertake vital bowel cancer research, and provide life-saving aeromedical and primary health across rural Australia hasn’t gone away as a result of these fires.
And the sad reality is that now, dollars for other SA charities seem to have dried up, with charitable organisations around Australia, including the Adelaide-based Little Heroes Foundation, confirming they’re seeing a major decline in funds due to the fires.
Another South Australian charity, United Way, is also seeing donor fatigue in the market.
When asked whether ANZ would still support the 2020 ANZ Community Ball in the midst of the bushfire crisis, we didn’t hesitate to say yes.
Having worked closely with a number of our supported charities, I have heard many voice concerns about the future of their funding for this year.
The March 14 ball will go ahead at the Adelaide Convention Centre as planned and is supporting 12 South Australian charitable organisations.
Last year, we raised more than $226,000 for various South Australian charities and we trust South Australians will step up and help do the same again.
So when asked if we’d still support multiple non-bushfire charities in a time of crisis? It really was a no-brainer. We want to do our bit to ensure these local heroes have what they need to continue supporting our communities all year round, despite a horrific summer.
And thankfully, more than 70 local South Australian businesses have already put their hands up to join us and are continually offering help to support our communities, through donating incredible prizes for our auction and supplying local artisanal food and beverage.
If you take one thing away from this please remember the little guys during times of crisis. Because while they might not be dominating the headlines, they are working around the clock to make a world of difference to people in need and play a critical role in our community
The 2020 ANZ Community Ball will support the Jodi Lee Foundation, United Way SA, Hutt Street Centre, Backpacks 4 SA Kids, Royal Flying Doctor Service, LifeChanger and other charities.
Book your tickets to the upcoming ANZ Community Ball 2020 here.
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