G8 announces bushfire relief package: donation matching and free care for firefighters
Children and educators from across G8 Education’s 476 strong national network of early childhood centres have banded together to host fundraisers in support of communities ravaged by bushfire. To support these efforts, G8 announced yesterday that they would match donations dollar for dollar.
In addition, G8 also announced that they will provide six weeks free access to their centres for the children of volunteer firefighters and Australian Defence Reserve members following the evacuation and temporary closures of 25 of G8’s centres due to the current fire crisis.
At time of press, G8 centres had been impacted by the bushfire crisis in the following ways:
- 121 G8 Education centres have been on watch and act alert.
- 22 centres were closed temporarily.
- Three centres were evacuated.
In response, children and educators from around the G8 network have been hosting lemonade stands and fundraiser barbecues and stitching joey pouches for young orphaned animals.
The announcement is part of G8’s Bushfire Relief Package aimed at supporting families, team members and volunteers who are protecting the communities in which they operate.
G8 centres Greenwood Katoomba and Community Kids Bargo in New South Wales along with Creative Gardens North Lakes in South Australia were evacuated due to the threat of nearby bushfires. Team members and children from all three centres had been practising their fire evacuation procedures in the weeks prior and the evacuations went smoothly with all children safe and well.
The immediate focus following on from those evacuations, Managing Director Gary Carroll said, “has been on the safety and care of the children, families and team members from our centres located in the impacted areas.”
“Over the past few months we have been working closely with relevant authorities and acted quickly to ensure their safety. Our families and our people are at the heart of all that we do, and the Bushfire Relief Package is designed to lessen the burden for those who have been directly impacted by these devastating fires.”
The G8 Education bushfire relief package includes:
- Matching dollar for dollar all donations raised by its national network of centres with proceeds donated to the Australian Red Cross Bushfire Appeal.
- Six weeks free early childhood education and care for children of the tens of thousands of volunteer firefighters and Australian Defence Reserve members fighting fires and in need of assistance.
- Counselling support for team members and their families directly impacted by the fire crisis.
- Direct financial support for G8 Education families and team members severely impacted by the bushfires.
“Our hearts go out to those impacted by the unprecedented bushfire crisis which has had all of us asking how we can help – even the youngest members of our communities,” Mr Carroll said.
“The children want to give and help out in any way they can. In fact, they have led many of the fundraising activities at our centres, coming up with ideas and ways in which they can help families, wildlife and firefighters from those areas devastated by the bushfires.
“As well as raising much-needed funds, some centres have been acting as collection points for necessary items such as food and clothing, with children even donating their favourite toys to those who have lost it all. It really is inspiring.”