Businesses rally to support Salvos response and recovery in WA bushfires
23 February 2021
After weeks of responding to emergencies in Western Australia, culminating in the destructive Wooroloo bushfires, The Salvation Army has transitioned into the recovery phase.
In one of the largest bushfires in WA in recent years, 86 homes were destroyed with hundreds more people displaced. Playing a pivotal role in the state over the past few months, The Salvation Army Emergency Services (SAES) served first responders, helped people affected by the fires, and also supported the police during the six-day COVID-19 lockdown.
During the bushfire crisis, The Salvation Army was stationed at two evacuation centres in Gidgegannup and Swan View, which have now closed. The latter sheltered more than 400 people at the height of the fires.
With COVID-19 outbreaks preventing backup teams coming from interstate, our WA SAES were under significant pressure. But, backed by years of experience responding to emergencies and the faith of the business community, The Salvation Army was able to activate immediately. Our incredible volunteers provided over 18,000 meals, ensuring our first responders and evacuated locals were well cared for. As evacuation centres were established, our chaplains were there to provide a listening ear and advocacy during a turbulent time.
“The loss of 86 homes and the displacement of many hundreds in the community has caused major upheaval and distress,” says Warren Palmer, Public Relations Secretary. “Not only are people dealing with loss but [they are] facing an uncertain path ahead in recovery. The Salvation Army together with our partners recognise this and are working to help support this road to recovery both in immediate and the longer-term needs.”
Thank you to our business partners
The Salvation Army’s long-standing partnership with Woolworths was integral in our ability to once again provide care and support to our first responders and affected community members.
'Woolworths sponsor us each year through their S.T.A.N.D (Support Through Australian Natural Disasters) program, this helps us to be disaster ready," says Drew Ruthven, General Manager of The Salvation Army’s Strategic and Disaster Management unit. “They support us to have our equipment, vehicles, and our catering services on the road and ready for a quick response. They are a wonderful support to us and we greatly value their partnership in offering support to disaster affected communities.”
As the community rallied together during the disaster, so too did the business community who provided the Salvos with food, drinks, supplies and additional funding to support those affected.
The Salvation Army would like to acknowledge and thank the business community for their generous contributions during this time.
We received overwhelming support from so many wonderful companies and individuals. Thank you to both our private individual supporters and HBF for coming along side us in the recovery phase of the crisis to deliver the temporary housing pod project in collaboration with the Minderoo Foundation. The self-contained pods will assist those displaced by the fires and are fully equipped with a 2,300-litre water tank and 5 KVA generator, toilet, shower, two bunk beds and a small open kitchen.
We also wish to thank the following organisations who rallied to provide much needed funding, in-kind support and material aid:
Fortescue Metals Group
Hanes Brands Inc.
My Chemist/ Chemist Warehouse
Mrs Macs Pies
Tip Top Bakery
Pilbara Food Services
With your support, The Salvos have been able to immediately respond to the urgent needs of the community, actively support in the region’s bushfire recovery phase and continue to walk alongside the community as people rebuild their homes.