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For the 'relief of human suffering' Greeks give $325,000 to Bega Valley bushfire fund

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Above:  Archbishop Makarios - The Greek Orthodox Church has donated $325,000 to the Bega Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund. Image courtesy Bega Valley Shire Council. 

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia has donated $325,000 to the Bega Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund, to be used “for the relief of human suffering”.

Earlier this year, Greek Orthodox faithful across Australia came together to put their thoughts and concerns into action.

“We are overwhelmed and extremely grateful to the Greek Orthodox people and the Archdiocese of Australia for their substantial donation,” Mayor and Co-chair of the Fund, Sharon Tapscott said.

“The bushfires impacted more than 60% of the Bega Valley, destroyed 466 homes and damaged so much more.

“We thank Archbishop Makarios of Australia for choosing to support the Bega Valley from the funds raised through their Bushfire Appeal and assure the Greek Orthodox people that it will be put to good use.”

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia donated $148,000 and its Charitable Foundation a further $177,000.

“We are proud of the generosity and spirit of compassion shown by our Greek Orthodox faithful, who immediately responded to the call of the Church for donations as a practical expression of our solidarity with the people of this nation and their suffering during the devastating summer bushfires,” said His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia.

Bega Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund co-chair and chair of the Social Justice Advocates of the Sapphire Coast, Mick Brosnan said although the fund is perpetual, it would have as its focus for some time, the Bega Valley bushfires.

“At the moment we are trialling an efficient application, approval and delivery process for grants with the Cobargo community,” he said.

“Once we have the grant application and distribution process established, we plan on rolling out support more widely from July 2020.”

The Bega Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund will focus on unmet needs and aims not to duplicate the provisions being met by other agencies and charities.

It will also seek to address everyday health and well-being issues to meet critical and acute needs like, but not limited to fuel, firewood, household appliances, clothing and more.

The fund is jointly managed by Council and the Social Justice Advocates.  A webpage is being established as a point for further information.