The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia has donated $325,000 to the Bega Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund to be used “for the relief of human suffering.”
Mayor and Co-chair of the Fund, Sharon Tapscott, said they were “overwhelmed and extremely grateful to the Greek Orthodox people and the Archdiocese of Australia for their substantial donation.”
“The bushfires impacted more than 60 percent of the Bega Valley, destroyed 466 homes and damaged so much more,” Ms Tapscott said.
“We thank Archbishop Makarios of Australia for choosing to support the Bega Valley from the funds raised through their Bushfire Appeal and assure the Greek Orthodox people that it will be put to good use.”
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia donated $148,000 and its Charitable Foundation a further $177,000.
“We are proud of the generosity and spirit of compassion shown by our Greek Orthodox faithful, who immediately responded to the call of the Church for donations as a practical expression of our solidarity with the people of this nation and their suffering during the devastating summer bushfires,” His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia said in a statement.
Co-chair of the Bega Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund and Chair of the Social Justice Advocates of the Sapphire Coast, Mick Brosnan, said although the Fund is perpetual, its main focus for now will be the Bega Valley bushfires.
“At the moment we are trialling an efficient application, approval and delivery process for grants with the Cobargo community,” Mr Brosnan said.
“Once we have the grant application and distribution process established, we plan on rolling out support more widely from July 2020.”
The Bega Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund will focus on unmet needs and aims not to duplicate the provisions being met by other agencies and charities.
It will also seek to address everyday health and wellbeing issues to meet critical and acute needs such as fuel, firewood, household appliances, clothing and more.
The Fund is jointly managed by Council and the Social Justice Advocates. A webpage is being established as a point for further information.