Australian Red Cross will provide $20,000 support to family of those who sadly lost their lives in the Queensland and New South Wales floods, and also distribute a $500 cash grant to impacted households in flood-stricken communities following Saturday night’s nationwide telethon.
More than 92,000 people across Australia donated $25.2 million during the live telethon, which was broadcast for more than four hours simultaneously across three networks – Channels 9, 7 and 10.
Red Cross CEO Kym Pfitzner said it was an incredible display of generosity from people across Australia who pitched in to support the hundreds of thousands of people affected by the floods.
“Every cent raised through the telethon will now be distributed as cash grants,” he said.
”The telethon was an enormous success, enabling us to provide some additional support to those who need it. On behalf of Red Cross, thank you to everyone who donated. It really shows impacted communities how much you care.
”Red Cross is grateful for the efforts of Channels 9, 7 and 10, who came together with the help of 600 volunteers, staff and celebrities across three states to unite the nation to support flooded communities.”
Mr Pfitzner said the response to the telethon extended well beyond the funds raised.
“This represents a national outpouring of humanitarian support for flood-hit communities. The scale of the support is what’s really heart-warming.”
Funds raised through the telethon will support two types of cash grants:
Grant applications will open on Friday 18 March at redcross.org.au/grants, with a simple online form to be completed. Once the required information has been received, grants will be processed quickly, with first payments expected to be made from 21 March.
“At this point in time, estimates of how many households were impacted are variable. We will distribute the grants until all eligible applications have been processed or available funds are exhausted.
“With the telethon appeal now closed, people can still donate through the ongoing Red Cross floods appeal. Funding into that appeal in the last week from our corporate partners and philanthropic funders has meant Red Cross is able to continue to deliver immediate community response needs on the ground, and ensure we are able to support long term recovery.
The flood appeal will add to the funds already received from the telethon to help as many people as possible with cash assistance, support our current response on the ground and on-going recovery work in flood-impacted communities.
Mr Pfitzner stressed that the generosity of the broadcast networks, celebrities and volunteers behind the telethon, along with other major supporters, meant that no funds raised on the night of the telethon would be used for essential support costs.
“Reports about donations received, grants applications and how the money is spent will be made available on our website regularly in line with our practice of transparent appeals reporting.
“In addition to providing cash assistance Red Cross has had about 460 people in the field and has supported nearly 12,000 people in 50 evacuation and recovery centres, ensuring people have a safe place to sleep and access to food and water, and connecting them with the services and other help they need,” Mr Pfitzner said.
“The scale of the damage and number of people impacted is immense. It’s going to take a long time to recover, but Red Cross will be there for communities for the long haul, working side by side with our not-for-profit and government partners in the affected areas.
“We’re tremendously grateful for the support of the broadcast networks, along with more than 20 corporate and philanthropic partners. People can also donate in person at partners including Coles, Australia Post, the Commonwealth Bank, who are collecting in stores.”
Mr Pfitzner said grant applications would remain open until all eligible applications had been processed or available funds were exhausted.
For media queries or interview requests, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 1800 733 443
Note to Editors: One cash grant of $500 per household (not individuals).
Corporate and philanthropic partners who donated to the Telethon
Channels 7, 9, 10; Coles, Commonwealth Bank, Telstra, Cotton On, Mindaroo Foundation, The Lott, McDonalds, Toyota, Super Retail Group, HBF, St John of God and Ramsay Health Care, Optus, Entain, Solo Resource. Also, Queensland couple John and Linda Van Lieshout donated $1 million to the appeal.
The NSW Government contributed $2.5 million, the Western Australian and Victorian Governments donated $2 million each and the South Australian Government contributed $1 million, Queensland Government contributed $500K and Red Cross will be one of the beneficiaries of its public appeal, but the total amount is not yet known.