Australians wanting to assist people affected by the tragedy at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast by donating funds, are being urged to go to givit.org.au.

Working with a range of partner and government organisations, Australian charity GIVIT is managing donations to assist after this terrible incident.

GIVIT CEO, Juliette Wright, said GIVIT’s website is an easy, quick and effective way of donating directly to those in need.

“News of this tragic incident shocked everyone at GIVIT just as it shocked Australians all over the country,” Mrs Wright said. “We are working with a range of partners to manage donations following this tragedy on their behalf using our website givit.org.au.

“We know from past events Australians are incredibly generous and want to help the families who have been left devastated. GIVIT channels this generosity and lets people know exactly what is required so front line services aren’t inundated by donations they don’t need.

“After the explosion at the Serves You Right Café in Ravenshoe, GIVIT facilitated the donation of more than $800,000 in funds.

“The online platform removes the administrative and financial burden for councils and charities as well saving valuable resources for critical activities.

People can give money via GIVIT’S website of which 100% will go directly to those affected.

Mrs Wright said GIVIT has a proven record of being easy to use, efficient and most importantly effective following incidents such as this.

“GIVIT’s online platform has facilitated more than 327,000 donations and supports more than 1,200 trusted Australian charities by ensuring they have the exact items their clients need to recover.

To pledge your donation please visit givit.org.au.

For more information or interviews please contact Ash Moore, GIVIT’s Media Advisor, on ash@givit.org.au.

About two years ago, for my own mental health, I decided rather than researching causes of poverty to research ways to make a meaningful difference through GIVIT and GIVIT Kids.

I have dedicated years to this.

Then just last week, our volunteer Kirsty, sent me the latest ACOSS statistics about children living in poverty in Australia, and it shocked me to my core. On our shift, this year 2016, we are finding more and more children falling into the poverty cycle.

The ACOSS report states that now, 17.4% of all children in Australia are living in poverty, which is by the international standards, not the lucky country standards. This is an increase of two percentage points over the past 10 years, from 2004-2014.

This two percent is a massive and horrific issue.

This two percent points is nearly criminal. These children do not have the basic essentials and they are suffering. They don’t have enough food, educational or personal care items and this affects their growth and ability to thrive and strive. They lack simple things, things that surround me now as I am writing this.

My usual depression kicks in when I talk about this topic. I wish for many things to change; the cost of living, the mental and physical health, as well as the well being of a family unit, but the facts are – we have Australian children who are starving. I get so sad thinking of all the charities we work with who are not spinning in the mud, they are working so bloody hard to help these families and yet we are slipping deeply into a very dark place for our nation.

At an event last night, I sat beside a school teacher who said she frequently buys her students items. She recently bought a boy some pants, and frequently gives her own money to buy food for students. She has to feed one little girl every day because her father does not feed her.

I am now renewed in my passion to ensure every Australian school signs up and registers to receive items through GIVIT and GIVIT Kids. They are on the front-line, seeing our children every day, every week, and have their eyes on the children in most urgent need.

Please forward this blog to any teacher you know and get them to sign up. They seriously fit our criteria, and can register to receive any needed item. Our teachers, all of our teachers, now work directly with children who are impoverished, marginalised, and very vulnerable.

The donation of landing lights and a defibrillator from GIVIT has made the community of Ilkurlka, in remote south east Western Australia, safer for travellers and locals alike.

Every year for the past 29 years, Jamie Lawson and his family have taken rally participants around some of the most isolated parts of Australia in car rallies. Last year Jamie founded The Road Boss Rally, which now raises funds for GIVIT.

While at Ilkurlka Roadhouse in June this year, Jamie saw that the community needed landing lights to make night-time landings for the RFDS possible.

“Ilkurlka is so far off the beaten track that most rallies would never go there, and that means there aren’t many options available if people find themselves in a bit of strife,” said Jamie. “When we got there and heard that there were no landing lights and that meant RFDS planes couldn’t land at night, we really wanted to help out.”

“We talked it through, spoke to GIVIT’s CEO, Juliette Wright and she said that was definitely something we could help with.”

“I represent a special group of people on the Road Boss Rally and it’s great to see their efforts go to something so real and tangible as the defibrillator and landing lights.”

Manager of the Ilkurlka Community Road House Phillip Merry said it was with “stunned disbelief” that he watched the 80 cars of the Road Boss Rally roll into Ilkurlka in June.

“Ilkurlka is basically just a roadhouse which usually has a population of one or two depending on who’s there to run it or if we have a group of rangers staying overnight,” Mr Merry said.

“But quite a few people came out from the Tjuntjuntjara community to see the rally so there must have been around 250 or more people there.”

“Ilkurlka is extremely remote – about 750 kilometres west of Coober Pedy, 600km east of Laverton, WA and about 130km north of Tjuntuntjara.”

“We’re basically a refuelling and supply point with a population of whoever is at the roadhouse so to have this potentially life-saving equipment here is a real comfort.”

“Of course we hope that we never have to use it but you know what they say, ‘Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.’”

CEO and Founder of GIVIT Juliette Wright said she was thrilled that GIVIT was able to provide these items to Ilkurlka.

“It’s nice to know that anyone who lives near or happens to be travelling through that part of Western Australia is a little bit safer,” Mrs Wright said. “The Road Boss Rally led by Jamie Lawson is a fantastic group of people and GIVIT is proud to work with them.”

The 29th Road Boss Rally ran from June 10 to 25, 2016, starting in Port Macquarie on the east coast and finishing in Perth on the west taking 75 cars and 180 participants through 8000km of back roads and rugged bush tracks in very remote desert areas.

The Road Boss Rally this year raised $250,000 for GIVIT.

Residents across Queensland are being urged to get ready to help their local community as severe weather events with storm and cyclone season draw closer.

In partnership with the Queensland Government, GIVIT manages all offers of donated goods and services after severe weather events and other disasters.

GIVIT CEO and Founder Juliette Wright said through the website, local residents are able to match their generosity with genuine need by finding out exactly what is needed in impacted regions.

“When disasters occur, we will work with frontline services in the impacted region to identify their exact needs and list them online,” she said, “That’s why we are urging the local community to prepare for recovery by heading to GIVIT’s website now,” said Mrs Wright.

“We are there to support local charities, community groups and councils in their time of greatest need – when recovering from disasters.”

SES Regional Manager Mark Dole said it was important for Queensland residents to prepare for disasters.

“To get ready for storm and cyclone season, we’re asking residents to prepare an emergency plan and emergency kit,” said Mr Dole. “An emergency kit should be able to sustain you and your family for at least three days if essential services are disrupted or you have been isolated by flood water.

“Involve everyone in your household when preparing and practising your emergency plan. It’s vital everyone in your family knows what to do during a severe weather event. By taking these simple steps you can help the SES by first helping yourself.”

Mr Dole said residents should also consider how they would recover after a severe weather event, including what to do if their property or possessions are damaged.

“GIVIT do great work managing the donations of goods and services after a disaster, helping those residents who have lost everything,” he said. “This allows emergency services to focus on those residents who are vulnerable or in need of emergency assistance.”

During the 2011 Queensland floods, the GIVIT website received 1.8 million hits in 10 days and more than 33,500 goods were matched in three weeks.

This led to the establishment of a dedicated GIVIT Disaster Recovery service activated during the Bundaberg floods, Cyclone Ita, Malanda Floods, Tropical Cyclone Marcia, the South East Queensland Floods, Beenleigh House Fire and the Ravenshoe Café Explosion.

Mrs Wright said it is important that people don’t send unwanted goods or items into disaster zones.

“We know from experience that after natural disasters there is an outpouring of support from Australians, the GIVIT website is a fantastic way of channelling that support.

“This saves councils and charities both time and money when it comes to managing donations and is a free service they can sign up for.

“We would urge local charities to register at givit.org.au now and locals to think about what high quality items they have that they could potentially donate so that after a disaster strikes, communities are ready help themselves.”

GIVIT is an online not-for profit connecting those who have with those who need items, via its website givit.org.au. For more information or to arrange an interview please call Ash Moore on 0407 094 079 or QFES Media on (07) 3635 3310.