You will no doubt have seen the devastating news about the fires in Australia. As UK National President I have been liaising with the National President of JCI Australia, Keirin McCormack, to see how we, as part of the global JCI community, can offer our help and support.
I wanted to share with you all this statement from JCI Australia, highlighting two particular organisations, the Australian Red Cross and WIRES, they have chosen, which they have asked the global JCI community to consider supporting. In the spirit of The Power Of Us I hope that you all look to support this cause.
James Lambert – JCI UK 2020 National President
Dear JCI family,
On behalf of JCI Australia and our members a heartfelt thanks to all of those who have reached out to us recently as we continue to face unprecedented and extreme fire and weather conditions. It has been a sombre start to my time as National President.
I realise there has been widespread reporting about the fires and the situation on the ground. I know that many of the horrific images will have reached you. I wish that I could tell you that they were exaggerated, but I can’t.
To date 5 million hectares of Australia has burnt. Homes and lives have been lost. Wildlife has perished and many people are displaced. What I can also tell you proudly though, is that although our communities are tired and frightened, they are rallying around each other.
Our members have been affected. All of our Local Organisations are in, or very close to fires. JCI Australia is in close contact with them as well as our Senate Group, we are anxious for their safety and for their communities.
Our main line of defence in a large majority of these locations is the Rural Fire Service (RFS) and the Country Fire Association (CFA). The men and women of the RFS and CFS are volunteers. Their service and sacrifice has been extraordinary.
Many of you have reached out wondering how you can help. This is what makes me so proud to be part of this organisation. It is hard not to feel powerless as your country burns around you, but it is right now that as JCI members we have the opportunity to do what we do best, to stand with our communities and as active citizens bring together all sectors of our communities to rebuild.
In that spirit, it is my belief that we must be ready to provide long term support in the year ahead. When the fires subside and the media go home, to provide practical assistance for the long, slow re-building process. We will share details of our local efforts and projects throughout this time and would be grateful for your support in those as they emerge.
To provide immediate financial support for our communities, at this time JCI Australia have chosen to ask you to consider supporting two particular organisations: the Australian Red Cross and WIRES. We have set up two pages to allow the JCI community to support these organisations and we hope that many will join with us in doing so.
For future information visit: jciaustralia.org.au/jci-cares-bushfire-crisis-appeal
Yours sincerely and with thanks,
2020 National President JCI Australia
This post was written by Zoe Toseland