I'm getting a few questions about the best way to give to the fire appeal.
There are plenty of ways to give. When you log into your bank account, there's an option to give. When you tune into the radio they've got a number to call. Even my Spotify ads advise me how to help those impacted by the fires.
If you're looking for a quick way to ease your conscience, the major appeal campaigns are where it's at.
However, the problem is that while the more prominent organisations have the capacity to take the funds, there are rules and protocols they must follow. This means that those who are in immediate need of support don't necessarily get the funds when they desperately need it.
Just because we have had rain here doesn't mean it's over. The current statistics and devastation from fires are; six lives lost, 673 homes gone and 1400 other buildings destroyed.
The long-term impact of this is immense. There is an immediate need, and there will be a long-term need, to support affected communities.
So, my advice to you and your business is to create a connection with an impacted community through your business or networks.
Maybe a staff member knows or has contacts on the ground in areas that have been impacted?
Maybe colleagues, clients or suppliers are in these communities?
Newcastle is the land of two degrees of separation. Creating connections is what we do.
You could also search for communities that are least likely to get support, the real remote areas that you've never heard of.
Connect on a business level - an accountant with an accountant, mechanics with mechanics, pubs with a local pub, builder to local builder. Get my gist? Build not only a relationship to support them, find out what they need.
Service clubs and charities in these communities are also good options to find out what is needed - Lions clubs, Rotary clubs, APEX, Country Women's Associations, neighbourhood centres or op shops.
Ask yourself: If I lost everything, what would I need to function each day? Start there.
There are so many ways to help. The choice is yours.
But as we move into the Christmas season, ask yourself what you would want, and how could you and your business help in order to have a long-term impact.