This week, ACP received an email from Jo Dodds of the Mumbulla Community Foundation in Bega.
“It has been an incredibly difficult few months and our communities are still under threat from fires to the north, south and west. We are hoping the predicted rain this weekend will provide some relief. We’re all exhausted from being on alert, coping with smoke, preparing our homes, evacuating, supporting those who’ve lost homes and then doing it all again. I think we will struggle to get through this. So many businesses are impacted – either burned out or having missed their entire summer trading boost. There is no one who hasn’t been impacted financially, by the stress, losing their home, business, or worst of all, a loved one.
Jo gave us permission to share this. It is a timely reminder that the fires are not over.
The media have largely moved on to other matters and most days the air is clear in the capital cities. For those of us who do not live in the line of fire, it would be all too easy now to lose sight of what our friends and colleagues in many parts of the country are still living through – every day and every night. And when the fires are eventually out, the disaster will not be over.
Community Foundations and our ACP network will stay the distance. Together with partners like FRRR, our sector and other philanthropy leaders, we will keep bringing the conversation back to where it needs to be: “What do you need from us?”
To those of you living through this up close: we hear you, we think of you, reach out when you need to talk. You can expect random ‘Are you OK?’ calls from ACP from time to time over the coming months.
To anyone who wants to offer help and support: thank you. You are needed – and will be needed for quite some time. Let’s work together and pace ourselves to maintain focus and engagement. This is an ultra-marathon.