GERF launches appeal to support fire-affected East Gippsland communities

The Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund (GERF) has launched an appeal for financial donations to provide fire-affected East Gippslanders with immediate support.

GERF President John Mitchell announced the appeal today following confirmed reports of multiple homes and property lost across the region.

“While the full extent of the damage won’t be known for several days, sadly we know of a number of people already who need immediate help.

“The funds we raise will be distributed to impacted families for discretionary use while insurance and government claims are being processed.”

Mr Mitchell said the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund, which has been in existence for 41 years, had always received strong support from community members and businesses, both from within the region and further abroad.

“Unfortunately Gippslanders are all too familiar with the devastating impacts fire, flood and other natural disasters can have on our region.

“That said, we’ve always been able to rely on the goodwill of locals and friends from other communities to dig deep and give what they can during these trying times.

“So we’re asking local community members and corporate citizens, neighbours and friends from other communities to think about the plight of fire-affected East Gippsland communities and give whatever they can,” Mr Mitchell said.

Donations can be made via Paypal at www.gerf.org.au, at any branch of the NAB across Australia or in person at Alan Wilson Insurance Brokers at 40 Argyle Street Traralgon.

“If you’d like to donate at any NAB branch, please let the teller know you’d like to make a donation to the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund.

“All donations over $2 are tax deductable and if you provide the NAB teller with your name and address, we’ll post you a receipt,” Mr Mitchell said.

Donations can also be made by sending a cheque or money order to Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund, PO Box 508 Traralgon VIC 3844.

Residents affected by the fires should contact their local Council Municipal Recovery Manager, who will assess the applicant’s situation and then make a referral to GERF where applicable.

The Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund was established in 1978, and is operated by local volunteers for Gippsland communities affected by natural disaster events. Further information is available at www.gerf.org.au.