How to offer Flood Support in your own local Community

January 23rd, 2011

With much of Queensland and parts of New South Wales starting to recover from the recent disastrous floods, and regional Victoria in the middle of a flood crisis, tens of thousands of Australians have been directly affected, and many more have suffered.   These flood victims will need ongoing support and assistance for weeks and probably months to come, but what are the best ways to offer (and ask for) help ?

Financial Donations

Flood relief appeals such as the Qld Flood Appeal and the Victorian Flood Appeal (managed by the Red Cross) have done a superb job at raising funds to help support flood victims, and these appeals are clearly the best way for you to make financial donations.

Business Support

The recently announced Qld Flood National Business Donations Register offers a great method for businesses to offer support to flood victims (Australia wide), with many businesses already offering pledges for a wide variety of products and services.

How Can Ordinary Aussies Help?

There are still plenty of ordinary Australians desperate to help, but not sure how to  .  However, it is still very difficult for individuals, many of whom live in or near flood affected areas, to find out the best way they can help and support their local community.

if you have muscle or manpower to volunteer you can register with Volunteering QLD who are coordinating volunteer efforts in Queensland, but there are plenty of other ways that you can provide practical, hands on support for flood victims.  It is often the simple, seemingly little things, that can make the biggest difference in supporting those affected by floods.

An innovative new service called HelpOut, has been established specifically to connect those people who need help with those who are able to provide help.  This service allows individuals living in or near flood affected communities, to list the types of help they can offer.  Perhaps more importantly though, HelpOut also allows those people directly affected by flood, many of whom are in desperate need of assistance, to specify exactly the type of assistance that they need.

HelpOut allows people to search by location (town, suburb or postcode), and presents offers and calls for help on a map – so it is very easy to see what help is available (or need) in specific areas.

If you Need Help

If you have been affected by the floods and are in need of something specific, you can create a Help Wanted listing for free on HelpOut (or if you don’t have internet access, get a friend to do it on your behalf).  Enter your street name and town/suburb, a description of what you need, and (if you want) a contact number.  Your listing will be presented to anyone searching your area to see how they can help, they can then contact you (via our internal message system) to offer their services and exchange contact details.

If you want to Help

First of all, search your local area in HelpOut for Help Wanted listings to see if there is anyone seeking assistance already.  If there is already a listing for someone you can help, you can contact them and discuss how you can offer assistance directly.  If not, you can create a Help Offered Listing (for free) outlining what you have to offer and what area you are able to provide it.

HelpOut has been developed specifically to make it easier for local communities to help themselves. By putting people wanting to help, directly in touch with those needing help, we ensure that the support that is needed can be given to those who most need it.

For a list of suggestions as to how you may be able to help see : How You Could Help

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