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Red Cross Calling Appeal down on target

Monday March 19, 2007

One year on from Cyclone Larry -- when Australian Red Cross mobilised one of its largest volunteer forces since World War Two -- the organisation is well down on its Red Cross Calling Appeal target of $9 million.

So far, almost $750,000 has been banked nationally. Red Cross is urging people to donate now.

Australian Red Cross CEO Robert Tickner said Australian Red Cross had been responding to disasters and crises in Australia and overseas for more than 90 years.

'An increase in the number, frequency and impact of large-scale disasters, environmental and otherwise, means now more than ever we need help to continue our work with vulnerable communities.

'But it's not just the major disasters. Red Cross needs help to support people through a range of everyday emergencies, everything from making daily caring phone calls to an isolated person to giving breakfast to kids who might otherwise go to school hungry.

'We want to prepare communities for disasters and foster community resilience -- but we need the vital funds raised during Red Cross Calling.'

Red Cross mobilised about 450 volunteers and 80 staff from throughout the country in the aftermath of Cyclone Larry, on 20 March last year. Outreach teams made 3,000 visits across 30 towns in the region, distributed 1,500 parcels and made 135 referrals to other agencies.

Red Cross also set up evacuation centres, provided personal support and assisted Queensland Police in reconnecting families separated by the crisis.

Red Cross has a presence in almost every city and town across the country. It is part of the largest humanitarian organisation in the world, with more than 100 million volunteers in 185 countries.

The Red Cross Calling Appeal is the organisation's major annual appeal for funds to support its work in Australia and overseas.

The funds raised during the Appeal help Red Cross to respond readily to emergencies -- not just the big, public emergencies, but the emergencies that occur every day, from an elderly person living alone who has a fall, to a child who goes to school without breakfast.

Recent research commissioned by Red Cross reveals that 10 per cent of Australians -- some two million people -- have felt isolated and at risk at some time over the past five years. A staggering eight per cent, or 1.7 million people, said they had no-one to turn to in their local area for support in a crisis.

Red Cross Calling Appeal

Red Cross Calling is Australian Red Cross' major annual appeal for funds to support its work.

Donate online using our online donations form (see link below), or by phoning 1800 811 700.