Donations to the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund will be doubled today - Tuesday, October 13

The fires of last summer seem like a lifetime ago for many, as COVID-19 has overshadowed pretty much everything since then, but Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund has been on the ground helping out fire-affected east Gippsland communities. Pictured, the terrifying sight of east Gippsland ablaze
earlier this year, taken from Eagle Point. Photo: Zoe Collins
The fires of last summer seem like a lifetime ago for many, as COVID-19 has overshadowed pretty much everything since then, but Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund has been on the ground helping out fire-affected east Gippsland communities. Pictured, the terrifying sight of east Gippsland ablaze earlier this year, taken from Eagle Point. Photo: Zoe Collins

UP to $5000 in donations made to Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund will be doubled, for today (Tuesday) only.

Fund president John Mitchell said GERF was one of 30 Australian charities selected as part of Beyond Bank's 30-day dollar match fundraising event - Double Donation Day.

"We have our own 24-hour timeslot in which to encourage GERF supporters to donate a tax deductible amount that will then be matched by Beyond Bank," Mr Mitchell said.

"We understand that many in our community are under financial strain due to the impacts of COVID-19, and it's a hard time to be asking people to donate money, but every donation, however small, counts.

"With Beyond Bank matching the first $5000 in donations - we think that's a good investment."

Mr Mitchell said the severity of the east Gippsland bushfires and the extraordinary response in donations from the community highlighted to the GERF executive the need to secure donations outside of specific appeals.

"The more funds we have, the more we can give when Gippsland is next struck by disaster," he said.

"By receiving donations now, we have funds on hand, ready to give to those in need.

"Our pledge has always been that every dollar raised during an appeal is returned to those in immediate need.

"We are so proud that every dollar raised during our 2020 bushfire appeal - more than $10.4 million - went back into the east Gippsland community.

"This included financial aid for 2100 east Gippsland residents for things like food, accommodation and clothing, as well as fencing and fodder for more than 250 farmers."

Mr Mitchell said partnering with Beyond Bank, and its charitable arm, Beyond Bank Australia Foundation, for fundraising was an opportunity to share what GERF did with a new audience.

"Gippslanders have always been generous in supporting our appeals, but it's great for a local community charity to reach new donors," he said.

GERF is a charity organisation established in 1978 and is operated by a small group of local volunteers, providing cash donations to help Gippslanders affected by natural disasters access immediate requirements like food, accommodation and clothing.

For more information, visit www.gerf.org.au or follow the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund on Facebook.

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