Applications open tomorrow for Australian Red Cross flood grants funded by the generosity of more than 92,000 people across the nation who have pitched in to help support flood-hit communities across Queensland and New South Wales.
Red Cross Queensland acting director Collin Sivalingum said applications for grants funded by a weekend telethon that raised $25.2 million would open on March 18, with the first grants expected to arrive in peoples’ bank accounts from March 21.
“We promised donors that every cent raised at the telethon will go as direct assistance to applicants from the 50,000-plus households that have been affected by the floods, and that is exactly what we are doing. No essential bank fees or other operating costs have been deducted from funds raised during the telethon. This is an exception that is helped made possible by the generous support from funders,” he said.
“The grants process has been designed to ensure funds get to where they’re needed quickly, delivering on the remarkable national generosity and compassion harnessed by the telethon, which was broadcast across networks 9, 10 and 7.
There are two categories of grants:
- Bereavement grants of $20,000 to support senior next-of-kin of people who died as a direct result of the floods with immediate needs (funeral and other related expenses).
- A $500 relief grant per household to help with basic needs such as food, clothing or personal items for people whose primary place of residence was affected by the floods and who are experiencing financial hardship as a result.
Applications are open at redcross.org.au/grants, and eligible people need to complete a simple online form. People can also call 1800 733 276. Grants will be distributed until all eligible applications have been processed or available funds are exhausted.
The telethon was separate from the ongoing Red Cross floods appeal, which is enabling Red Cross staff and volunteers to continue to respond in flood-hit communities, support long term recovery and provide cash assistance.
Donations to the ongoing appeal can be made at Coles, Australia Post and Commonwealth Bank outlets and Red Cross stores.
Mr Sivalingum said individuals and communities would take a long time to recover from the devastation wrought by the floods.
“We are there with communities for the long haul, working with our not-for-profit and government partners in the affected areas,” he said.