Springfield City Group, the master developer of Greater Springfield, today launched an innovative appeal to help Australians affected by the bushfire crisis.
Dubbed ‘Springfield Sends Help’, the online campaign allows residents of Greater Springfield to share relevant skills with those in need.
Skills are not limited to those most typically associated with a bushfire recovery effort, like building and landscaping, but can include any talent that could be of use to people affected by bushfires.
Springfield City Group staff kick-started the initiative by offering marketing, landscaping and biscuit-baking services, and the group chipped in $20,000 towards helping Greater Springfield residents travel to fire-affected areas and buy supplies for victims.
Springfield City Group Chairman Maha Sinnathamby said he believed Greater Springfield was one of the most generous, talented cities in the world, and wanted to show the rest of the country how committed the local community was to helping the nation re-build.
“Springfield city is a nation-building project, and among our 43,000 residents are many of the skills the nation needs to re-build in the wake of the bushfire crisis – whether those are traditional trades like building and plumbing, or even ancillary skills like accounting, marketing and baking that can go a long way to helping a community get back on its feet.
“I have personally donated to a number of bushfire appeals, and I know many residents have too, but we wanted Springfield City Group to lead the city in taking it to the next level by showing our mates in affected areas that we care.
“We also understand not everyone is in a position to donate money but may still want to assist the recovery effort, so we thought ‘Springfield Sends Help’ would be a great way for everyone to give back in their own unique way, no matter what their talent.
“One of my favourite quotes is by Margaret Mead who said, ‘a small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.’
“We’re not a small group anymore, but through this campaign we can definitely help make the world a better place.”
Mr Sinnathamby said that Springfield City Group would be working with a number of existing charities to help the country re-build, including Blaze Aid – a volunteer-based organisation that works with families and individuals in rural Australia after natural disasters, such as floods and fires.
Blaze Aid currently has more than a dozen camps set up around the country, which welcome volunteers who travel to help local communities re-build. Two camps are within a two hour drive of Greater Springfield, and the group is planning to have more than 30 in the following months.
Blaze Aid Founder Rhonda Butler said the organisation was grateful for any help they could get and having an entire city in support of their work was uplifting during such a difficult time.
“We are absolutely flat out at the moment and being inundated with calls for help,” Ms Butler said.
“Because we are volunteer run, we are really stretched for resources and therefore welcome any help we can get.
“The main task at the moment is to lift the spirits of these communities because it gives people a sense of direction and a little bit of a kick along.
“We’re trying to get people back up and running and get them back to their pre-disaster lifestyle, so knowing that a whole city is behind them will no doubt help give them some light during this dark time.”
Springfield City Group will act as a conduit throughout the campaign, linking skilled individuals with various disaster relief organisations already on the ground.
Once a person or business has been matched with an organisation, they can choose to either provide their services remotely or where possible, onsite.
For more information or to get involved, visit: http://www.greaterspringfield.com.au/springfield-sends-help/