The NSW government has urged anyone wishing to help those residents in flood-affected communities to do so through recognised charities and not send unwanted goods into the devastated regions.
The NSW government's disaster relief body Resilience NSW made the plea on Wednesday, and asked well-meaning people wishing to help the communities affected by recent storms and floods not to donate unwanted goods but instead take advantage of established arrangements between the government and national non-for-profit orgnisation GIVIT, or make a financial donation to the Red Cross flood appeal.
Resilience NSW was created as an executive agency within the Department of Premier and Cabinet in 2020 to lead a whole-of-government disaster and emergency efforts, including prevention and recovery.
GIVIT is a national non-profit organisation that matches generosity and need by connecting donors and community organisations to make sure they get exactly what is needed.
The NSW government and GIVIT will work together alongside charities to assess and advise immediate needs and assist with managing donated money and offers of goods and services.
Resilience NSW Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said it was critical that people did not take or send unrequested items into storm and flood-impacted areas.
He said while the Australian community spirit to help was inspiring, it needed to be done in a way that ensured local charities and recovery organisations weren't "inundated with donations they don't need".
"The best way people can help communities in times of need is via the official donations channels," he said.
"Our arrangement with GIVIT allows councils, outreach teams, local charities and community groups to tell us exactly what's needed. Then we work to meet these needs through an online warehouse or by purchasing requested items locally using donated funds."
GIVIT is now coordinating donations and offers of assistance to help those affected by the severe floods, and is calling for donations of items, services and funds to be registered through their website.
GIVIT national manager Jo Beadle said unrequested donations could actually hamper services on the ground.
"My first message is please do not take donations into impacted areas, this is really important," she said.
"GIVIT works directly with councils, outreach teams, charities and community groups to identify exactly what's needed to make sure people get what they need, when they need it.
"It is an easy and efficient way of donating directly to people impacted by this event, without overwhelming charities and frontline services on the ground."
GIVIT said 100 per cent of publicly donated funds goes to affected communities. Where possible, GIVIT uses donated funds to purchase items from local providers to support the economic recovery of impacted regions.
If you wish to donate an item that is not listed, you can register it online at givit.org.au/donate-items.
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