Yarloop 7th Month Update
A very BIG THANK YOU for the continued support and encouragement from the Churches of Christ around Australia. We have been humbled and blessed by so many. Harvey Church of Christ has set up a five member Fire Relief Committee to be responsible for the distribution of these funds. About 4 weeks ago, on information given to us by one of our congregation, we were able to arrange a meeting with team members of the Fire Recovery Emergency Services set up in Harvey. Three of our Committee members met with representatives from Department of Child Protection and Emergency Services, Harvey Shire and the Red Cross. It was a very beneficial meeting in that we now have access to information of people who are in real ongoing need as a result of the fires.
Many have issues that are outside the usual scope of funding and support, some slipped through the cracks and did not receive funds from the Lord Mayors Appeal, others have issues that have arisen as a result of the fire etc… One bonus of being linked with these services is that they have had enough time to gather information from all sources so that the people on their lists requiring financial aid and assistance are genuine cases needing help as a result of the fires. We are also able to forward to them names we have been given of families that may require help and cross check with what assistance may have been supplied previously.
A portion of the funds donated by the congregations and individuals from your Churches for the Yarloop community has already been put to good use in helping in so many different ways. We are also mindful that support will need to be given to some families rebuilding in Yarloop, so dispersion of the funds will be ongoing for some time.
Examples of some uses of these funds:
- $1,500 Bunnings vouchers
- $1,000 Coles vouchers
- $2,452 Furniture and garden tools/equipment
- $2,000 To an elderly farmer to assist in cleaning up burnout shed
- $2,118 Building supplies
- $ 300 Clothing store voucher
- $ 675 Medical and chemist
We are also in the process of considering and/or finalising the following types of assistance:
- Orthotics for two children
- Medical equipment and disability aids
- Tyres and car repairs
- Payment for cleanup work …… and other proposals now being prepared for consideration.
It has been a joy to be able to give out funds on behalf of the Churches of Christ Australia wide. The recipients have been surprised, grateful and so thankful. One woman burst into tears when she found out we had approved payment for new tyres and a car service. She is having to travel an extra 200kms per week as her new rental place is much further from her child’s school and her car was in much need of repairs and tyres. Another woman has been so affected by the fires, her health has deteriorated quite dramatically. We will be assisting her with medical requirements and an outdoor walker….something she had no idea she would need 7 months ago.
Please continue to pray for:
- Discernment and guidance for the Fire Relief Committee in their decisions on how to wisely distribute the funds raised
- For the Harvey Emergency Services group. Every day they deal with the most heart breaking situations, broken and traumatized people, displaced and confused individuals. The care of the fire victims has taken an emotional toll on them.
- For ways the congregation of Harvey Church of Christ, and other local churches, can be a part of the ongoing support and care of ex-Yarloop residents now in their towns
- For the town and residents of Yarloop. There is still bitterness, anger, confusion, disillusionment over what has happened/ not happened in the last 7 months
- For Pastor Chapman and the small Yarloop Community Church, that they be a beacon of hope and light in town
- For the families that have still not found a new home. We know of some who want to live locally because of family, school, friends etc.. but are unable to find suitable accommodation nearby. Moving away from all support they have known adds another level to the trauma of the fires.
In all that we do, we want to bring glory to God our Father, to reflect our Lord and Saviour’s love and compassion to all those whose lives He allows us to touch, to minister under the guidance of Holy Spirit.
God bless you, Ann Jefferies, Harvey CC