The GIVIT Gold Coast Appeal’s Independent Distribution Committee has released a second round of funds in time for Christmas.

The appeal has raised more than $400,000 with Dreamworld pledging a further $157,225 from the proceeds of its “Open Doors, Open Hearts” weekend to Red Cross, which will also be distributed by the independent committee.

The committee will once again prioritise the needs of the families who lost loved ones in the tragedy at Dreamworld.

Chair of the GIVIT Gold Coast Appeal’s Independent Distribution Committee, Catherine O’Sullivan, said this Christmas would be especially tough on those families.

“Everyone on the committee feels nothing but sympathy for the families of those who lost their lives in the incident at Dreamworld in October,” said Ms O’Sullivan. “The committee acted quickly to release a portion of the funds to meet their immediate and emergent needs in the weeks following the tragedy.

“We know that those needs will continue and that Christmas will be a particularly difficult time of year for those who have lost loved ones.

“This second release will mean that nearly all of the funds received to date have been distributed with more funds on the way from the reopening weekend.”

CEO and Founder of GIVIT, Juliette Wright, said there is still time for people to make a donation before the appeal draws to a close.

“I want to thank everyone who got behind this appeal and in particular the business community on the Gold Coast,” Mrs Wright said. “Our hearts go out to the families of those who lost their lives at Dreamworld.”

“To have raised so much money in such a short space of time and with more funds on the way as a result of Dreamworld’s reopening weekend is extraordinary.

“100% of the funds received by this appeal will be directed to those who need it most via the Independent Distribution Committee established last month.

“If anyone else would like to donate please go to givit.org.au or walk into any Westpac branch and ask to donate to “GIVIT’s Gold Coast Appeal.”

The GIVIT Gold Coast Appeal is expected to close on December 21 2016 with a final distribution of funds in January 2017.

For further enquiries contact GIVIT’s Media Advisor, Ash Moore on ash@givit.org.au.

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