A flood of generosity
Anglican Tasmanian Disaster Fund’s Flood Appeal
June’s devastating floods around Tasmania produced a flood of generosity in response to the Anglican Tasmanian Disaster Fund’s Flood Appeal. Around $60,000 was raised in a very short time, with donations from around Tasmania and interstate.
Epicentre of the floods was in the Mersey Valley, from Latrobe almost to Sheffield. Bridge of Hope Parish in Latrobe was hands-on in its response, with parishioners working in the mud and smell, helping to find and recover what had been swept down into other properties.
Money from the Disaster Fund was used, in the first instance, for immediate financial relief for those whose homes and livelihoods had been severely affected. Then funds were provided to make up nearly forty Care Packs of food and household goods, together with a message from the Bishop and a New Testament. The contents of the packs were purchased from the local IGA store, which itself was inundated by the floodwaters.
The packs were delivered personally by parishioners and this offered a chance to minister to many households.
Says the Rev. Chris Thiele: ‘Most people needed to tell so many sad stories and it was an excellent opportunity to meet people.’ The Parish is revisiting the same homes with a gift of Anvers chocolates, to listen again and see how people are tracking.
The bulk of Flood Appeal funds is being used to aid farmers in the Parishes of Latrobe and Sheffield. So far, over twenty farmers have received vouchers purchased from the local Roberts store, redeemable for feed, fodder or fencing. The level of feed was already low in the region, after prolonged drought, and what little there was has been destroyed by the floodwaters. Valuable assistance has been received from the Government’s Tasmanian Flood Recovery Taskforce and the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association in identifying properties which were significantly impacted.
The Disaster Fund has also supported the Parish of Circular Head to aid a Roger River tenant farmer who lost his stock, and the Parish of Hamilton to supply materials and meals for volunteers who came in to repair fencing.
The Anglican Tasmanian Disaster Fund is managed by Anglican Health & Welfare and was set up following the January 2013 bush fires. Bush fire appeal funds are still being used to support a Pastoral Worker and a Youth Worker in the Parish of Sorell, Richmond and Tasman. Having a permanent Disaster Fund set up meant that the church was able to offer help to those affected by the floods within twenty-four hours.
If you would like to support the Flood Appeal, log on to Give Now and search ‘ahw flood appeal’.