The Northern Rivers Flood Relief Fund, a partnership between NRCF and Byron Community Centre, raised an incredible $1,308,655 in a matter of weeks.
An incredible 103 grants have reached community organisations who are imbedded, trusted and already connected on the ground in flood affected Northern Rivers.
One of those recipients is It Takes A Town (ITAT).
ITAT used the funds to employ a GIVIT coordinator at the Murwillumbah Volunteer Hub and the results were significant.
“We’ve done a calculation on how much flood-impacted households have received via GIVIT, as compared to the money that has been invested in employing a GIVIT coorinator,” the organisation said.
“So far, for $3000 worth of staff time via the NRCF grant, we’ve generated around $40,000 in goods and trades for households.”
ITAT worker Soraya says what the grant has contribiuted to their efforts has been received whole heartedly by the local community.
“The whole community is so grateful for every cent that has come from anywhere to help pour back into the rebuild of this town. It’s not cheap – there’s so much to be done, and people cannot financially afford to get these jobs done themselves,” Soraya says.
Any support helps so much. It’s really hard to put into words, but people are so, so grateful for every little bit of help,” she said.
(ITAT) @ittakesatown was launched in March 2017, the same weekend that the devastating flooding of Cyclone Debbie hit our region. The generosity that followed those floods provided the perfect segue for ITAT. They didn’t have to educate anyone in the 2484 postcode area about the benefits of generosity and responsiveness, the community were seeing it in action before their eyes. ITAT helped to keep the door of generosity and responsiveness open, after the crisis ended.
Since launching in 2017, over 1100 residents have become members of ITAT. One third of these have offered their resources and skills for sharing in the local area. Over 80 local schools, tertiary institutions, businesses, groups, clubs, churches and spiritual movements, sporting groups, Government agencies and services, are also engaged in activating our shared vision of thriving for all. ITAT provides a platform for collaboration within our community.
It Takes a Town is working with the volunteer hub to support recovery in towns between Burringbar and Chinderah with the goal of contacting all estimated 3,000 homes that were impacted by the disaster. A large number (500 – 1,000) residents / homes have been contacted so far, and survey research identified clear emergency needs.
These everyday needs, such as vouchers for food and fuel, are being matched with donations and funding received, including the grant from The Flood Relief Fund. It Takes a Town will also hire a paid emergency relief coordinator to oversee the contact of the additional 2000+ homes, to support the volunteers, and to facilitate the matching of funding to needs.
Photos and interview by Nat McComas @natmccomas