Volunteer fireys given $3m supermarket gift card boost
SUPERMARKET giant Coles is throwing its support behind Australia's volunteer fire fighters by donating $3 million in gift cards to rural fire brigades.
With blazes intensifying in NSW and Queensland, the retailer's group chief executive Steven Cain pledged $500 each to more that 6000 fire brigades across the nation saying it was their way of thanking these crucial volunteers for helping to keep rural communities safe.
"As fires continue to burn across the country, tens of thousands of firefighters across Australia are volunteering their time to keep our communities safe," Mr Cain said.
"Some are based in fire-affected areas while others are travelling across borders and to other regions to help protect communities away from home."
The retailer suggested the gift card could be used to stock up on supplies of food and essentials for stations over the fire season, or to run a thank you event for members.
NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons welcomed the donation and said the gift cards would provide an opportunity for members to gather with their families and friends once the ongoing fire emergency eases.
"The efforts of our firefighters across the state during this unprecedented fire season has been extraordinary, but we also recognise that there are families and friends supporting those firefighters behind the scenes," Fitzsimmons said.
Coles is also raising funds for the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund to support those affected by disasters including the bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland.
Coles and its customers have raised and donated more than $500,000 to the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund this year.
Customers can continue to donate to Red Cross at all check-outs at Coles supermarkets.