Vinnies, Red Cross respond to questions regarding drought donations

Rural appeals: Drought affected Loomberah, near Tamworth. Photo: Supplied.
Rural appeals: Drought affected Loomberah, near Tamworth. Photo: Supplied.

Two of Australia’s leading charity organisations, the St Vincent de Paul Society and Australian Red Cross have each responded to questions put forward by the Western Magazine.

Both launched their own state-wide drought appeal.

A Vinnies spokesperson said every dollar received for its Drought Appeal will be used to assist drought affected farmers and communities.

”In 2017/18 Vinnies NSW received around $22 million in donations from generous supporters,” the spokesperson said.

“These funds are used directly in the provision of services and assistance across our many services. In that same year, Vinnies spent $144.8 million on service provision and assistance to the most vulnerable people in our community.”

The spokesperson said Vinnies is a member and volunteer based organisation with over 6000 members in NSW working in 390 local communities providing assistance to people experiencing disadvantage.

“Vinnies also runs over 100 services across NSW and is supported by around 1,700 professional staff,” they said.

The Red Cross’ Disaster Relief and Recovery Appeal, ‘Help our Aussie Farmers’ is running over the month of August.

“I can confirm that 100 per cent of every dollar donated to the appeal will help farmers, their families and communities,” The Red Cross spokesperson said.

“No Red Cross resources will be funded from the appeal. Funds raised will be used to alleviate financial pressures and support the health and well-being of severely drought affected farmers, farming families and communities.”

The Red Cross spokesperson said funds raised are being distributed to drought-affected communities in NSW, ACT and QLD through a partnership with the Country Women’s Association of NSW and Queensland.

The spokesperson said their last annual report says there were around 40,000 volunteers and members in total.

“We of course have a workforce to provide professional support behind the scenes,” they said. The Red Cross spokesperson said they receive grants from state and federal government to deliver a range of humanitarian services.

Rural Aid, Drought Angels and Aussie Helpers were asked to comment but did not respond before deadline.