Australian charities respond to coronavirus

How you can help during the pandemic.

Australia’s charities have a long history of helping society’s most vulnerable people. 

The social and economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in more people than ever relying on charities to get by. 

However, a number of charities have had to temporarily suspend, modify or reduce their services when they’re needed most.

Here’s how some Australian charities have responded to coronavirus and how you can help them to continue their vital work. 

The Australian Red Cross

The Australian Red Cross is providing a vital connection to elderly and isolated Australians during the coronavirus pandemic.

The organisation is working with the Queensland Department of Health to make daily phone calls to more than 5000 Queenslanders in mandatory self-isolation. 

Red Cross volunteers are using video chat to connect with their elderly and vulnerable clients who they can no longer visit in person.

It has also developed a number of resources to help Australians look after their mental wellbeing, including ways for families to manage self-isolation and how to talk to children about coronavirus.

How you can help: Register for coronavirus relief volunteer opportunities or make a donation.

Foodbank

This month more than 200,000 Queenslanders will find themselves without food to eat and in need of help. This number is expected to rise dramatically with the number of people out of work due to coronavirus restrictions.

Foodbank provides food relief to more than 2400 charities across Australia, assisting more than 815,000 people each month including women escaping domestic violence, vulnerable children, asylum seekers and remote indigenous communities.

Increased demands for key staple items, ranging from toilet paper and hand sanitiser to long-life products such as UHT milk, rice and canned products, has meant charities that rely on donations from Foodbank have had their supplies limited.

How you can help: Donate non-perishable goods or sign up to volunteer.

Lifeblood

Blood donations have dropped off as coronavirus spreads but cancer patients, car crash victims and emergency surgeries continue to require blood transfusions.

Lifeblood has called for more than 10,000 donations over the next three weeks to replenish Australia’s blood banks.

As blood is an essential service, you can still donate blood even when travel and venue restrictions are in place, however the donation eligibility criteria has changed.

How you can help: Donate blood. 

Volunteer from home

In order to ensure the safety of clients and volunteers, many charities have had to temporarily suspend their in-person assistance. 

However, as charities respond to the changing environment a number of virtual and volunteering from home opportunities are emerging, including online mentoring, knitting and phone support for isolated people.

How you can help: Volunteering Queensland currently has more than 50 virtual volunteer positions available and more are being added daily.