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  • #964214
    Astrid
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    Hi

    I had an idea last night after reading the postings here about the bushfire disaster in Victoria. I would be interested in your thoughts – if the idea would be too farfetched or too naive or just not practical. Or good.

    I would really like to offer my services to some badly affected businesses who have to start again. At no costs. And after things have settled down a bit.
    I imagine that most businesses will have insurance but there are more important things to pay for in the beginning, I guess.

    But then I thought – they might not just need advertising material, they might also need various other things people from FS could offer.

    What about setting up a list of FS members on the main website of FS, who would offer their services for free for the victims of the fire? Just for a limited time.

    This list could be published by the media and through other services down there. Plus – it would give FS some publicity too.

    Or is this not such a good idea? Please be honest – I am not too familiar with the area and have no idea if there is already help organised through local groups like chambers of commerce etc?

    Cheers
    Astrid

    #1003881
    Heidi Price
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    Astrid, post: 2901 wrote:
    What about setting up a list of FS members on the main website of FS, who would offer their services for free for the victims of the fire? Just for a limited time.

    Fantastic idea Astrid

    We are certainly very happy to put our hands up to help in any way we can, while being very thankful that our family members in Vic are not affected.

    How about it FS Admin? – Is this something we can do?

    Heidi

    #1003882
    LeelaCosgrove
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    I think that’s a great idea …

    It might be a little while before they are ready to use your services … obviously, there are still fires burning (this weekend is expected to be hot again) … and even where they have stopped, people are a bit of a mess, as you can imagine … even those who managed to save their homes and businesses are really shook up …

    But I think something like this would be really appreciated by the area …

    My fiance and I had planned to get married in Buxton later this year. After this, we’ve decided to put it off for a little while … let people find their feet … and then swamp them with a wedding … *grin*

    But I’ll definitely be in offering services … I think it’s a really thoughtful gesture …

    #1003883
    sam_leader
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    What a great idea, Astrid. We’re having a Flying Solo meeting next week and we’ll talk through the concept and consider how we might support it.

    I agree that there’s no urgency for this. It’d be better to take the time to think up a coherent plan rather than rush in at a time when, as Leela rightly says, people have other stuff on their mind.

    Plus I can’t help but think acting in haste would look a bit ‘bandwagon’y and insincere, which this offer of help is most certainly not.

    Thanks again for the great suggestion.

    Sam

    #1003884
    Burgo
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    Great minds, I put up a post about donations and a reply from one of our Victorian members suggested something similar.

    There are a number of carpet cleaners in that area, one I have been told didnt make it. We are setting up an equipment fund to help get carpet cleaners in Victoria and Far North Queensland who have lost equipment, back on their feet as soon as they wish.

    So Astrid your idea is a very sound and feasible one which I support 100%.

    Lets do it.
    patrick

    #1003885
    Past-Member
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    I agree with the waiting as the trauma is still too green and to donate money for now – however I looked up the Kinglake business directory here http://www.krbn.com.au/directory.html
    The other towns must have similar directories. But we don’t know as yet who have survived as the death toll is still being counted.

    It’s no good offering services (like my own – design & print) that would take away business from similar businesses struggling to get back on their feet which would cause resentment or disillusionment – but, perhaps each we could donate towards appropriate equipment to help the businesses setup again to work within their communities. Maybe a spare laptop, desk phones or printer or modem etc. I’m trying to think of practical help here. The main idea is to encourage self-sufficiency.

    Others may have a better idea of practical ways to help.

    #1003886
    MissieK
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    I’ve been thinking the same too – wondering how BMN can help get business support started in those areas to help the Mums get their businesses started again.

    I’m sure if we all put our heads together, we’ll work something out :)

    Count me in.

    Melissa

    #1003887
    Adam Randall
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    I have an alternate view on these sorts of things.

    The victims of these fires need money and lots of it to rebuild their lives, my thoughts are that fund raising should be left to the experts such as the Red Cross etc.

    Donations to causes of this nature IMHO should be a private affair and absolutely no benefit including publicity of any kind including names on lists etc

    The fires are still going and I am already seeing pretty logos with red flames in the background stating % of profits are going to the Victorian bushfire victims, to me this is a bit distasteful.

    Day to day charity I can understand, specific disasters where there is a high emotional attachment, I dont think commercial enterprises should market that they are helping the cause in any way.

    I reckon if you want to make a difference, whip the credit card out and go to:

    https://www.redcross.org.au/Donations/onlineDonations.asp

    The money will still be their even when the fires are no longer in the news, will enthusiasm and drive to work for free still be there? be honest now!

    #1003888
    Astrid
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    Hi,
    thanks for all your input.

    Sam – if you have a meeting next week, it might be worth discussing the idea a bit more thourougly.
    We can also talk about this or different ideas on Friday night, I guess.


    @Adam
    – I don’t have any problems with postponing any help to later in the year. I think we all have been to the Red Cross already and 40 Mio through that is a good start. What businesses like Coles down to local businesses are doing at the moment – putting their name behind an appeal – why not? As long as it helps?

    Donations as in money – I agree. That should be left to the professionals. I am part of a charity group helping AIDS victims in Namibia and it’s very tricky (legally) to organise and run.

    I was thinking of this list on FS more as a reference for anybody who wants/needs assistance. Not as an in-your-face kind of thing.

    But I also see that it’s important not to take away any business from local companies – of course they will need it much more than we here. That’s why I mentioned that it’s important to know what’s going on there and what’s needed.

    Cheers
    Astrid

    #1003889
    Heidi Price
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    I cant speak for anyone else, but in the past few days I have found myself noticing the basic bits and pieces I would miss if we had to restart. Even down to things like staplers and pens, let alone the computers etc.

    And while donations to the Red Cross will help enormously, the RC’s focus will be on basic human needs, not business equipment.

    So, my thought is – is there a way we can organise a collection of basic business/office equipment and would it be possible to get it where it is needed?

    Obviously there are complicated logistic issues to this.

    Any ideas everyone??

    #1003890
    Past-Member
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    I just spoke to Couriers Please re helping transport …
    please see other post http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/forums/other-discussions/431-couriers-please-transporting-items-free-rc.html#post2960

    #1003891
    Heidi Price
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    Thanks Karen

    #1003892
    Lisa Murray – Biz Coach
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    I too would like to help. I wonder if there are local business organisations (or councils) which would be able to coordinate some of our support so that it goes where it is most needed? I realise these may also be in some disarray, but as others have noted, there is no urgency just yet. Or maybe when things settle Flying Solo could contact local media and ask for people who need help to come forward?

    I am sure as things settle down simpler solutions will present themselves.
    Lisa

    #1003893
    ActiveCounselling
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    Excellent topic.

    I would be very keen to participate in anyway that doesn’t take business away from businesses in the community.

    I think people such as myself can contribute by helping these guys when they get to the point of rebuilding. Goal setting, planning, bouncing ideas around etc.. After a tragedy such as this many of the people maybe reviewing why they are in business, what their life goals are etc. All of us counsellors, coaches etc on FS can help with that process in ways that normally counsellors may not have the skills needed. The counsellors on the ground in general have excellant skills for short term trauma work and I having nothing but respect for them, but supporting someone rebuilding a small business may not be their specialty.

    Was thinking also that a work referal system could work where for example if your a graphic designer with too much work you could refer overflow to someone rebuilding their business.

    The above is just a brainstorm. Hopefully someone combines all our ideas together and comes up with a good idea.

    In the short term keep the donations going and make sure you talk about it with your friends and family as it may motivate them to contribute if they haven’t already.

    #1003894
    sam_leader
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    Hi all,

    In our meeting last week, we discussed ways Flying Solo could help support those affected by the bushfires.

    We want to get behind a bigger, structured initiative rather than start one ourselves, so we got in touch with our friends at Small Business Victoria to pledge our support on behalf of the FS community.

    Happily, they have told us they are going to start a business support matching service – perfect!

    If you are interested in supporting a business please get in touch with the matching service via this form.

    We are also going to promote this service through our home page’s leader column.

    We look forward to the stories of this forum’s community members helping those in need.

    Sam

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