Giving cash assistance to those in need

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The bushfires that have dominated the news over the past several weeks has resulted in an outpouring of generosity from Australians.

While that generous assistance has taken multiple forms, from truck loads of food supplies and water, to tonnes of clothing and household linen to truck loads of fodder for livestock, there is some justification to ask people to provide cash.

Following on from calls to donate, communities and organisations are now being overwhelmed with goods they do not need or cannot use and cannot either distribute or store satisfactorily.

The Office of Emergency Management in New South Wales spokesman, Jeremy Hillman described the deluge of goods as potentially a ‘second disaster’.

Victoria is dealing with the same set of problems. Police and Emergency Services Minister, Lisa Neville urged the community to donate cash instead.

Providing cash however delivers a number of negative connotations that are often completely erroneous. People at times consider it too easily disappears into some administrative hole or that it will be wasted on things they may not agree with. Making a decision about what someone might need is distantly removed from what they actually need or indeed want.

While the intention of people making donations is for the best reasons, there are those in the community who see advantage in perpetuating scams that defraud those that are giving. Victoria police have already charged a number of scammers and undoubtedly, more will follow.

The Victorian Government have created an account where people can confidently donate with the assurance that 100 percent will go to those affected by the fires.

Victorians wanting to make their own donations can do so, by visiting vic.gov.au/bushfireappeal.