Sisters of Charity Foundation Australia

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We need your help to support families affected by the flood crisis to rebuild.

Your donation will help families recover from devastating losses.

All donations above $2 are tax-deductible, which means your kindness will earn you a tax benefit on your next refund.

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Donation Total: $50.00 One Time

What impact can your donation have?

  • $25 can replace life’s basics like socks and underwear
  • $50 can contribute to food or gifts for a family in need
  • $150 can fill a tank with petrol to bring families together
  • $1,000 can help a family struggling with utility bills to keep the power on
  • $5,000 can help replace lost or damaged furniture or equipment

 

Sarah’s Story

Sarah and her husband John live in a small farming community, grazing cattle and growing crops as well as raising their two children. Deeply connected to their land and community, they had faced adversity over the years and adapted to challenges when they came along.

But there was no warning before the first flood hit in January. “That night we thought the rain had passed when we went to pick up our tractor around 8pm,” Sarah describes. “We lost power soon after that and we couldn’t see what the radar was doing. We had no understanding of where the rain was falling, no idea what was happening on our roads or our creek system.”

That night was terrifying. Sarah says, “I was afraid for John’s life as he walked out into the dark, walking through the water to get the horses and couldn’t see where he was going. We saved my son’s horse by walking through metre-deep water in the pouring rain. Then we saved five more horses and 28 head of cattle. That night we just didn’t sleep.”

Underneath was a creeping sense of dread. Their house was built on high ground, but they had experienced floods in 2011 and 2013 and they knew what was coming.

"We just knew what it meant... what the impact on our income and our workload would be. Floods come and take your income, your hard work, everything..."

They couldn’t save all the horses on the property. “John said: ‘It’s raining so they may have gone to the hill’,” Sarah recalls. “For two days we believed they were fine but when we could finally get on a motorbike and go over there, they weren’t. One had washed into a fence and passed away. Another we haven’t seen since that night.”

Kilometres of fencing were wiped out; their crops were destroyed. Expensive irrigation systems were gone in an instant. Without fences, monitoring and rotating the cattle became a constant source of worry.

“In our neighbourhood everyone is still so worried because it’s wet – we keep getting rain and it could flood again,” Sarah says.

The Sisters of Charity Foundation did an urgent callout to the community for donations of grocery items, towels and bottles of water. Some of these had to be dropped off by helicopter for people isolated on their farms. The Foundation also gave financial aid for necessities, to help with the overwhelming job of clean-up – replacing things like hearing aids that had been lost in the flood.

Some people needed to be referred for professional counselling after the trauma they had been through. The Sisters of Charity Foundation paid for this too, and organised a day out for flood-affected people in the community, which also helped bring respite and emotional support. “It’s so important as a lot of rural women don’t take the time to do things like this,” Sarah explains. “It was good to get away and share stories. It’s nice to know that other people understand – and understand the stress.”

Sarah says the support she has received has helped her get through the most difficult of times.

She says the money they received after the floods was a “huge, huge help” with groceries and paying for bills. Without it, she says, they would have to cut back even more. “Somehow the money came at the right time,” she describes. “It really helped with the stress and anxiety and it means a lot – a huge lot.”

Looking ahead to Christmas, Sarah says, “Farming life is hard…the gifts and all that, well, what can you say? We give our children time. We are just grateful to put food on the table; that’s number one. You pay your bills and live within your means. We don’t have holidays or things like that. It’s just the way it is.”

Devastation of the floods

Tens of thousands of people were forced to flee their homes and at least 23 people died as a result of the floods earlier this year. By the end of the first week in March, southern Queensland and northern New South Wales had each received more than a year’s worth of rainfall in a week.

Even today, some people haven’t been able to return to their homes. Some are still living in caravans or with friends who had houses on higher ground.

These families are really disadvantaged. There is no money for extras – like an annual school camp that the kids have been looking forward to, or perhaps a few days away at the beach in January. Many families are now heavily in debt.

We need your help so families can rebuild their lives after the floods. Please, donate now.

 

Donate via direct deposit

  • Account Name: Sisters of Charity Foundation Limited ATF Sisters of Charity Foundation
  • BSB: 032 040
  • Account number: 126 376

Please enter your full name in the reference field if using direct deposit. Please email [email protected] or phone (02) 9367 1211 and let us know the date of your contribution and the amount so that we can send you a tax receipt.