RSL NSW Continues to Support Veterans in Bushfire Affected Areas
Over the last few months, sub-Branches across the state have been working with RSL NSW’s service arm RSL DefenceCare to provide financial assistance to veterans and their families in bushfire affected areas. These funds are also available to veterans to aid with other disasters such as the recent floods and drought.
As of today, $466,000 has been contributed by sub-Branches across the state to a support fund for veterans in need, and $111,638 has been provided to veterans and their families in local communities suffering through the bushfires.
“It’s been incredible to see how our members have rallied around their comrades during this crisis. The mission of the RSL has always been to support veterans and their families, and the work of our members and RSL DefenceCare is really showing that” said RSL NSW Acting President, Ray James.
Sub-Branches in the affected areas are providing ‘boots on the ground’ support to their local communities, offering vouchers for emergency assistance. Jeffrey, a Cobargo local, sub-Branch president and veteran knows firsthand how helpful this assistance has been.
Jeffrey said, “I telephoned RSL NSW after an ex-serviceman at the evacuation centre told me that I could obtain a $300 supermarket voucher. This was hand delivered by another ex-serviceman who had lost his house, but was returning from Sydney after visiting a mate who had sustained serious burns. I was then passed on to RSL DefenceCare and was surprised at how immediately helpful they were.
“[The assistance] not only paid for our burnt hay, but allowed us to purchase: replacement hay to keep our livestock fed; parts for essential short-term repairs to our stock water/fencing; office equipment to apply for assistance; and solar panels to recharge our phones and torches while we were without power for over three weeks. Government/large charity grants and insurance payments are still months away.”
Recovery from the devastating fires will take time, but RSL NSW and its’ members will continue to provide support to veterans and their families however possible. “I am so proud of what our members have done” said Ray James. “We will continue to help in any way we can and hope for a speedy recovery for all of the affected communities.”
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