Bushfires have ravaged Australia in the last few months, with 86 still burning in New South Wales alone. A staggering 18.6 million hectares of land have been left barren and charred, approximately 2,176 homes have been reduced to rubble, and 21 lives have been lost. Those not directly affected by the fires have suffered significant air pollution and power outages.
However, amidst such heartache, we’re seeing communities rally together as they rebuild.
Young & old are gathering together in towns, ports and cities to provide practical and emotional support, and we’re truly honoured to be a part of it. As widespread rain falls (thank you Jesus), C3 churches across the country are matching prayer with love in action.
C3 Church Camden
C3 Church Camden (just south-west of Sydney) have been able to offer ongoing support to families throughout December and January.
“Through communication with other local agencies, we are constantly looking to assess the needs and fill gaps wherever we can.” Ps Rohan Bell, C3 Church Camden
Donations so far have included:
- Food hampers
- Supermarket and fuel vouchers
- Bedding and linen
- Meals for the NSW RFS volunteers
- Purchase of full-face respiratory masks for RFS volunteers (many are only supplied with paper masks)
- School supplies for affected families
Funnelled through C3 Church Camden, efforts by C3 Australia have raised approximately $65,000, plus donated goods like food, bedding, clothing etc.
And the funds are still flooding in. Elevation Church (in North Carolina) in particular have reached out and offered a generous donation. We are so grateful for their support, and others like them, from across oceans.
For more information or to donate, head to https://chuffed.org/project/c3-fire-relief.
C3 New Hope
C3 New Hope is also playing a part in relief efforts. Across their 8 locations – Kiama, Mount Annan, Campbelltown, Blue Mountains, Oran Park, Wilton and Townsville – they held an offering to raise funds for families on the far South Coast of NSW.
“Specifically we aimed to help those with school-aged children (and even local schools) to ease the burden of back to school shopping.” Bec Choat, C3 New Hope Kiama
With 2,176 homes lost since the beginning of the bushfire crisis in 2019, and school beginning by the end of January, back-to-school shopping will be a struggle for many bushfire-affected families.
Partnering with locals, and another church in Kiama (Generocity Church), C3 New Hope volunteers have so far compiled 25 backpacks filled with school supplies, to the value of over $2000.
C3 Jervis Bay
A small group of volunteers from from C3 Jervis Bay on New South Wales’s South Coast have been working tirelessly since January 2nd to clear away rubble and remains from burned properties. The volunteers, including Pastor Steve Ahern, have been using their own machinery – mostly bobcats and tractors – and their own fuel to support the clean-up.
“We’re just getting in there and getting it done.” Ps Steve Ahern, C3 Jervis Bay
This less glamorous side of the recovery efforts is often overlooked, but can be extremely costly to residents.
C3 Church Camden & Picton have offered to contribute some of the raised funds towards petrol and machinery costs.
Do you have a story to share?
There are countless other stories of people stepping in and providing relief for Aussies all over the country. If you have a story to share, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.