Australian not-for-profit organisation GIVIT will be managing all donations to support Queensland communities affected by Cyclone Debbie.

In partnership with the Queensland Government GIVIT manages all offers of assistance, including cash and item donations, following disasters using its website givit.org.au.

GIVIT will also use an SMS platform for cash donations, with people able to donate simply by texting the word DEBBIE to the number 0437 371 371.

GIVIT Founder and CEO, Juliette Wright, said GIVIT is experienced in managing donations in disasters and is ready to assist any community which may be affected by Cyclone Debbie.

“GIVIT is a trusted and proven donation platform with experience in managing the donation of tens of thousands of items after disasters in Queensland,” Mrs Wright said, “and this SMS tool will mean that people can help others simply by sending a text and filling out a form on their phones.

“When running cash appeals following disasters, we guarantee that 100% of the funds received by GIVIT will be spent helping affected communities recover. GIVIT, wherever possible, purchases locally to assist recovery of the local economy.

“As people are preparing for Cyclone Debbie, I’d urge anyone who might have items or funds that could aid in recovery to give that item at givit.org.au.”

Mrs Wright said GIVIT works with frontline services to identify their exact needs and then lists them online.

“We know from past events Australians are incredibly generous and want to help people who have been devastated by disasters,” she said. “GIVIT channels this generosity and lets people know exactly what is required so recovery workers aren’t inundated by donations they don’t need.

“The recovery period from a major disaster can be months or even years and during that time, charities and other service providers working on the ground to assist are constantly updating us on exactly what’s needed.”

To see what is urgently needed in communities impacted by the cyclone, or to give your donation or offer of assistance please visit givit.org.au. If you are a local charity or service wanting to access donated goods and services, please register at givit.org.au/charity-registration.

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

Newly-arrived Iraqi refugee, Maged, has had many sleepless nights worrying that when he wakes up, he’ll find his son lying on the floor, unable to move.

Today Radmila, his case-worker from the support agency MDA, has brought him a gift via GIVIT she hopes will change all that.

Maged’s story might be considered typical of many refugees fleeing the savageries of ISIS in recent years but for the fact his son has severe cerebral palsy.

“We were evacuated from Iraq due to the situation with ISIS,” Maged said. “We went to Erbil [in Iraqi Kurdistan] and stayed there for two months.

“Our situation was quite disastrous; we were living in tents and then transferred to live in schools.

“My situation is not normal since I have a disabled child.

“It was very hard for me to leave Randy in a tent or school [and] when the weather became very hot in the summer for him, I had to sell my car, which was all I had, in order to apply and get passports and travel to Jordan.”

In Jordan, Maged and his family were met by a priest who took care of them, giving them rooms in a local church.

“I made an Egyptian friend there and he, along with the church congregation, helped us a lot, especially with Randy,” said Maged.

“Then the Church found an apartment building that they rented for a year and furnished its apartments fully for the refugee families to live in.

“I worked at a restaurant there with some friends I made.”

Eventually, the Australian Embassy opened its doors for people to apply for asylum and Maged would be overcome by the kindness of Australia.

“We applied and got an appointment for an interview after one month,” said Maged. “After six or seven months we were asked to do the medical exams and got our Visas.”

“We thank God because we are happy here, especially my son, who was very tired [in Jordan].

“When I was in Iraq I used to hear how accommodating they were in Australia to people in Randy’s case but didn’t believe it.

“Now that I’m here, I can’t believe how well [his teachers and caseworkers] treat him.

“They treat him with humanity.”

Randy’s small body is contorted and it looks like he struggles to stay comfortable.

At night he tosses and turns so his father has to pack him into bed with pillows and check on him regularly.

“One time I forgot to surround him with the pillows and in the morning when I came to get him, I found him on the floor,” Maged said. “I was crushed and my heart broken and started crying.

“When he fell out of the bed he didn’t move, he remained in the same position he fell in ‘til the morning when I found him.”

The gift brought by their case-worker, Radmila, is a hospital-grade medical bed donated through GIVIT by a company called Active Medical.

For both Randy and Maged it means something special that they’ve both lacked for so very long; a good night’s sleep.

“The bed you got for Randy will help in two things,” Maged said. “He will sleep better at night and I will be more comfortable and sleep better knowing that when he moves or turns around he will not fall.

“Instead of using pillows to sit him up, the electrical bed can easily do that – the bed goes up and down and will help me with him.

“It will mainly make him sleep better [but will] let me sleep easy all through the night ‘til morning.

“He will be safe.”

You can support Australia’s new arrivals by donating items here: http://bit.ly/2nbLw34