Salvation Army Emergency Services (SAES) volunteers and personnel have served more than 10,000 meals, more than 5,700 refreshments and supplied blankets and pillows to those affected. To date the Bushfire Appeal has raised $7.1 million.
The Salvation Army has been working at 24 different sites in seven main locations across the state: Southern Highlands, western Sydney, Blue Mountains, Lithgow, Hawkesbury, the Central Coast and the Hunter. In these regions over 400 volunteers have committed over 3,000 hours of time to caring for people and regions affected by bushfires.
Already $500,000 of Bushfire Relief funds have been used to offer immediate disaster assistance to individuals and families. ‘The Salvation Army is now in the process of setting up longer-term assistance such as emotional and trauma counselling, financial counselling and legal advice and assistance,’ said Major Jeff Winterburn (Australia Eastern Territory Red Shield Appeal Committee Development Coordinator).
‘Long after the fires are gone and the smoke has cleared, The Salvation Army will still be in these communities, standing side by side with those affected, to help them pick up the pieces and begin the long process of healing and rebuilding.’
The NSW fires have destroyed or damaged more than 350 homes and burned up more than 120,000 hectares of bush.