St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland (Vinnies) has launched the Vinnies North Queensland Flood Appeal to help victims of the devastating disaster affecting North Queensland.
With thousands of Queenslanders impacted by flood waters, landslides and monsoonal rain, Vinnies state president Dennis Innes has declared a public disaster appeal, and says financial donations are the best way to provide immediate help.
"Vinnies is assisting families and individuals whose homes and businesses have been flooded, but we need the public and businesses to help us," he says.
"Last week we were hearing from people who have seen their homes go under water, who are stranded and cut off from help, including our own volunteers and staff. Now we are understanding their needs a little better.
Innes says with flood waters having potentially damaged infrastructure, the best way for people to help is through making a monetary donation.
"Every dollar donated goes directly to those struggling through this terrible disaster - financial donations are the easiest way to make sure we can quickly provide assistance to people in need," he says.
"We're asking the public and businesses to help us support our fellow Queenslanders who are going through what could only be described as the toughest of times."
Innes said Vinnies is a permanent local presence in Townsville.
"When the rain stops, the clean-up and recovery process begins and we will be here to help residents of the Townsville region return to their homes and restart their lives," he says.
Matthew Nunan, vice president and chair of Vinnies' Disaster Assistance Committee, says Vinnies is the organisation people turn to in a crisis.
"Vinnies was formed in 1894 after the Great Brisbane Flood to help with the devastation facing the community - and we're still here supporting Queenslanders facing disasters - flood, fire or drought," he says.
"We were there on day one with blankets for evacuation centres, there now to feed, clothe and re-house those still reeling before the floodwaters recede, and we will still be there in the weeks and months to come as people return to homes, face the devastation they find and try to restore their lives to some normality.
"This disaster is not over. We are expecting calls for help to escalate as our volunteers and staff go to people's homes and support their immediate and medium-term needs, meet with people in our support centres and Vinnies shops, and walk with them as they recover from the enormous physical, mental and emotional toil taken.
"The long term recovery will be the next biggest challenge. People already doing it tough financially or without other means of support will be hardest hit."
"People in need of assistance can call 07 4771 4077."
To make a donation visit http://bit.ly/DonateNorthQLDFloodAppeal or call 13 18 12.
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