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Major retailers support bushfire affected communities

Some of Australia’s leading retailers joined forces on Thursday 9 January 2020, to provide 100% of profits made on that day to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund. Retailers included Afterpay, Ben Sherman, Cue, Dr Denim, Farage, General Pants Co., Hush Puppies, Lacoste, M.J. Bale, Nautica, Okanui, Rodd & Gunn, Speedo, The Iconic, UGG, Veronika Maine and Wrangler, among others.

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Money raised by ‘ALL IN’ will be used to welcome people in evacuation centres and recovery hubs, locate missing loved ones through Red Cross’ Register.Find.Reunite service, provide emergency grants to those who’ve lost their homes to fires, 1:1 support and resilience programs for the wider community and to provide ongoing training, education and community outreach in preparation for the next disaster.

Temple & Webster participated in the ‘ALL IN’ initiative with co-founder and CEO, Mark Coulter saying that lives, businesses, towns and communities have been impacted to an unfathomable extent.

“At Temple & Webster, we believe homes are places for families to make and store memories, and to feel safe, and the bushfires have left families without their safe place. To help provide immediate assistance to relief organisations, we joined over 50 Australian retailers to support the ‘ALL IN’ initiative. We are also committed to working alongside our suppliers to help Australian families impacted by the tragedy to rebuild their homes once the immediate fires are under control.”

Another retailer doing its part amid the bushfires is IGA, which has activated its Emergency Response Plan, raising $280,000 to support those affected. This includes contributions from retailers, matched by Metcash.

In addition to this, the business has donated $355,000 in the form of water, products and gift cards – the total amount raised to date, including IGA’s Rapid Response fund is circa $600,000. A Bushfire Appeal has also launched in-stores whereby customers can purchase a $2 token at IGA with 100% of the proceeds going directly to Vinnies Bushfire Appeal. IGA customers can buy these tokens from their local IGA. The retailer hopes to raise $1 million during the month of January to directly help those affected by the fires.

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Mosaic Brands (Millers, W Lane, Noni B, Rivers, Katies, Autograph, Rockmans, Crossroads and beme) has also announced donations totalling over $1 million to help support affected customers and communities.

A monetary donation of $50,000 has been made to the St Vincent de Paul Bushfire Appeal and the group will donate clothing with an approximate value of $1 million to the GIVIT charity.

Mosaic Brands CEO, Scott Evans said it is a sombre time for everyone and the group’s thoughts are with those affected by the bushfires. “Our team members and stores have strong relationships with their communities, especially in many of the regions affected by the bushfires, and we hope these donations will be of help to those who have suffered loss as they begin to rebuild their lives.”

The Petbarn Foundation is offering support to organisations helping pets caught in the disaster, as well as animals and wildlife injured in the fires, by providing over $1.2 million to these charities. The donation is through a combination of funds, food and supplies to evacuation centres in emergency sites, and vets volunteering their time.

Donations are also accepted at any Petbarn store, Greencross Vets clinic, City Farmers, Animal Emergency Centre – or any of their specialist hospitals, and online.

On 11 January 2020, RSPCA SA outreached for 40 soft carriers for the injured animals on Kangaroo Island, as they had nowhere to place animals post-surgery. Just five hours later, the Petbarn Foundation had located and donated 40 carriers that were ferried to the island that weekend.

Australian property development giant, Stockland has pledged a donation of $500,000 to support the relief, recovery and rebuilding efforts that will go towards the Foundation for Regional and Rural Renewal (FRRR) and other charity organisations assisting affected communities.

Stockland is also providing free space to nominated charities at its retail town centres to support fundraising efforts, free digital advertising space across the Stockland network of in-centre screens to raise awareness of bushfire appeals, providing community spaces for services such as counselling and small business support in affected communities, supporting employees assisting with voluntary firefighting with additional paid leave from 10 days to 20 days, extending emergency leave provisions for impacted employees and matching employee bushfire disaster support dollar for dollar.

Stockland managing director and CEO, Mark Steinert said, “Like all Australians, we are devastated to witness the impact of the bushfires and we extend our deepest condolences to the families who have lost loved ones, their home or business, and to everyone experiencing the effects of the fires. We acknowledge the incredible efforts of everyone involved in managing this unprecedented situation.”

During December, Stockland also provided a donation of $20,000 to the NSW Rural Fire Service and QLD Rural Fire Brigade, as well as a $35,000 donation through its annual Christmas giving program to the FRRR for drought relief in impacted communities.

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