These past two months have been filled with secular news media dealing with a multitude of stories associated with secular aid charities and their distribution of aid monies or lack thereof.
Warnings went out from Government regarding fake sites raising monies for bushfire victims. Then there were heartbreaking stories of those who had lost their homes and the local politics or ineptitude or misunderstanding rules prevented those same people getting any assistance at all.
Television stories by the multitude aired these dramatic events and still getting anything done was near impossible. Then some secular charities had so much money donated for distribution, no one it seemed quite knew where to start.
Then there was the Red Cross, and not for the first time, came under fire for wanting to hold onto money donated specifically for bush fire victims. Then monies ended up in the pockets of local councils while those residents lives shattered were left with next to nothing or nothing at all.
This it seems to me should be the focus of any Royal Commission. Where the money went. Every last cent. Not where it was initially distributed but what happened to it when it reached – such as local Councils and distribution centres.
Was it like the Sports Grants, went to people known to the person who signed off on these donated monies or genuine needs. Treading on toes will be an Olympic sport no doubt.
Then there was the Celeste Barber’s $52m raised and no one knows what to do with it – a legal case.
NSW Baptist Churches of NSW / ACT had an official bush fire appeal and a video from the CEO Rev Steve Bartlett explaining the process and where money would be sent put $20,000 in from head office.
Similarly all the major church denominations.
They know what is happening on the ground. The local churches around each State know the locals and who is hurting, where the need is, what has been hit hardest, the schools and hospitals are involved along with the localised service clubs. Not some white collar shirt stuffy nosed ivory tower pen pusher.
Advantages of local
Local people know who are the most efficient movers and shakers
Local people know where the pitfalls are
Local people are aware of who are fair dinkum
Local people are aware of who really needs help
Local people focus on the critical
Local people focus on placing resources to real needs
Local people report on realities
Local people report on scams or look-alikes
Churches have a nose
The churches have people in abundance at the local level who have a nose – they can smell a bad apple a mile off, they can smell when something is going down, they can smell a dodgy incentive, they can smell a scam ….
As we have seen from the news casts there have been so many of these that what was lacking on the ground were people who recognised the drama for what it was.
I wonder whether any of these common sense recommendations will get the light of day.
Dr Mark Tronson - a 4 min video
Chairman – Well-Being Australia
Baptist Minister 45 years
- 1984 - Australian cricket team chaplain 17 years (Ret)
- 2001 - Life After Cricket (18 years Ret)
- 2009 - Olympic Ministry Medal – presented by Carl Lewis
- 2019 - The Gutenberg - (ARPA Christian Media premier award)
Gutenberg video - 2min 14sec
Married to Delma for 45 years with 4 children and 6 grand children