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Buy groceries and support CFA on your summer break
Summer – that time of year when many of us pack the car and head off to enjoy one of Victoria’s many beautiful holiday locations. But while we relax, behind the scenes, thousands of CFA volunteers are on standby, ready to act in the event of bush or grassfires.
Many of our most popular holiday destinations are in high risk fire areas, as was all too evident just over 12 months ago when fire hit the popular Great Ocean Road township of Wye River.
If you would like to support a local CFA brigade while on your holiday, you may come across a CFA donation tin in a local shop or hotel – but there are also more formalised programs you can tap into.
For example, did you know your holiday grocery shopping might be able to help? Throughout Victoria, a number of brigades receive the support of their local communities through the Ritchies Community Benefit Card Program.
This program, which donates a percentage of the money spent by customers to their nominated club, school or charity, has raised more than $2.7 million for CFA brigades since the program began in 1993.
With stores at Mt Eliza, Balnarring, Hastings, Dromana and Sorrento, the Mornington Peninsula is a key tourist region that can benefit from the CB Card program, with the region’s permanent population of about 150,000 burgeoning to up to 250,000 during peak summer periods.
Mark Kennedy is Operations Manager for District 8, which covers the Mornington Peninsula.
The Mornington Peninsula has more than 378 volunteers across 8 brigades and the summer school holidays are their busiest season.
Mr Kennedy said most holidaymakers appreciated the efforts of the local brigades and said by supporting these brigades through a program such as the benefit cards was a tangible – and relatively easy way – to say thank-you for their efforts and contribute to the brigade.
Ritchies supermarkets can be found at, or close to, a number of other popular Victorian holiday destinations including Beechworth, Bright, Cobram, Paynesville, Timboon, Yarra Glen and Yarrawonga.
Brigades in these areas already signed up to the CB program, including Balnarring, Beechworth, Boneo, Bright, Cobram, Crib Point, Dromana, Flinders, Golden Beach, Harrietville, Hastings, Inverloch, Kilcunda, Loch Sport, Main Ridge, Marysville, Mornington, Mt Eliza, Paynesville, Porepunkah, Port Campbell, Princetown, Red Hill, Rosebud, Rye, Seaspray, Shoreham, Somers, Sorrento, St Andrews, Timboon, Yarra Glen, Yarrawonga and Yea.
To support a brigade, ask for a Ritchies Community Benefit card at any Ritchies supermarket. Enter the name of the brigade you would like to be a recipient of a donation from Ritchies. Your card will be issued and can be used straight away.
When you shop, your Community Benefit card will be scanned, with 0.5% of the money you spend (excluding cigarettes and tobacco products) will be allocated to your chosen brigade.
Be prepared for your holiday. Create your own checklist to help you stay safe when you travel.
Learn more about the Community Benefit Card program.