Project Donation Account: BlazeAid

BlazeAid Inc helps communities recover after natural disasters and assists farmers and rural residents resume their normal productive lives by clearing, fixing and rebuilding damaged infrastructure.

In January 2013, the Thyne Reid Foundation contacted FRRR because they wanted to make a substantial donation to support the BlazeAid recovery efforts. However, BlazeAid did not have  deductible gift recipient (DGR) status. Understanding the urgency when faced with natural disasters, we set up a Project Donation Account for BlazeAid within 24 hours to allow donors to make tax deductible donations.

BlazeAid have since been very active in promoting the work they do and directing people to the Donation Account. This year, thanks to contributions from both large and small donors, they have raised $264,257 via the tax deductible donation account.

Easy access to funds makes all the difference

In 2013, the funds received through the FRRR Project Donation Account were used to buy equipment, such as fencing materials, tools and chainsaws. BlazeAid volunteers could then work efficiently with farmers to resurrect fences and infrastructure that had been destroyed. The funds were also used to support the volunteers with meals and safety equipment.

BlazeAid, a national program, was born out of the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. Since its inception, BlazeAid has had in excess of 6,500 volunteers from all parts of Australia, as well as New Zealand, Switzerland, England, Afghanistan, Canada, Germany, Austria, America and France.

In 2013, they had 12 basecamps working concurrently in locations throughout Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland assisting fire, flood and cyclone affected communities. Utilising the money held in the Project Donation Account, BlazeAid helped 810 rural families, with volunteers completing almost 29,700 days of work. This translates to millions of dollars of value for the affected communities!

Repairing farms and lifting spirits

By lending a hand in true Aussie style, BlazeAid volunteers not only build fences and repair infrastructure, but help to restore the spirits of natural disaster survivors who may have lost family and friends, pets, stock, homes and property.

With the advantage of an FRRR Project Donation Account, BlazeAid has also been able to attract additional philanthropic and corporate support in the future.