In October 2022, Australians living in northern Victoria were some of the worst hit after flood waters tore through their towns and inundated houses like a tidal wave.
Many of these residents from towns like Rochester have been forced to live in caravans, sheds, and other temporary spaces much too small for a family.
As those who have been displaced are still coming to terms with the ferocity of the swollen river, Victorian Lions have come together to provide some much-needed relief by sponsoring a camp for flood victims at their Licola Wildnerness Village.
Flood-affected families arrived at the retreat last Monday the 9th of January for a fabulous 4-night stay, where children and parents could enjoy swimming, kayaking or simply relaxing after having to live in close quarters for the past few months.
Lion Geoff Turnbull (2nd VDG V6) and his wife, Janice who came up with the idea, have helped to give families a very welcome break from the drudgery of their ‘normal’ day lives.
“The families at this camp have lost their homes and had significant material losses,” says Geoff Turnbull.
“Many of them don’t anticipate being able to move back to their houses for another 12 months or so, and some have no idea when.”
Guests were treated to a personal video message from Lions International President Brian Sheehan who welcomed them to the village, along with receiving vouchers from Bunnings and Kmart.
Each family was also given a new sheet set, pillow, pillowcase, blanket, bath and beach towel, bath mat, and toiletry kit to take home. Children aged 5-10 were also provided with a fully-loaded backpack for school.
Geoff says members of the public who would like to help make this possible again can contact a Victorian Lions Club or donate directly via the Australian Lions Foundation.
“Almost 40 people were unable to attend due to work or other commitments on their farms, so we would like to be able to do this again for other families who couldn’t make it this time.”
“A special mention to all the Lions volunteers who were here to assist with activities and provided meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also to Lions Australia’s Council Chairperson Steven Boyce and Australian Lions Foundation Chairperson Tony Benbow for all their support”.
Lions have been providing emergency support to Australian communities for decades. Over $4.6 million was raised and distributed in the recent Australian Lions Foundation National Bushfire Appeal and $1.9 million was raised and distributed to Flood Support last year.
Anyone looking to make a donation and support those affected by the floods can do so through their local Lions Club or through donating directly to Australian Lions Foundation.
Click here to make a donation (all donations over $2 are tax deductible).