The Griffith RSL Sub-Branch has donated its share of $2.1 million dollars to RSL LifeCare as part of a continued commitment to veterans and their families across the Riverina.
The Riverina region saw the sub branches of Wagga, Lockhart, Holbrook, Cootamundra, Coolamon, Hay and Griffith join more than 70 other RSL sub branches state wide in raising and donating the funds.
Griffith RSL Sub-Branch President, Hendrik Veenhuizen said the donation would be put to good use in the local community.
"We have 44 LifeCare residential units in Griffith alone supporting those in need of some assistance," Mr Veenhuizen said.
RSL NSW President Ray James said that the donation reflected the commitment of veterans across the state who, as members of the Returned and Services League, volunteer their time to help their mates, particularly after the withdrawal of the Australian Defence Force from Afghanistan.
"When the going gets tough, RSL NSW members get going by mobilising physical and financial resources to ensure that veterans and their families receive the hands-on support and services they need," Mr James said.
"RSL NSW and its partner charity RSL LifeCare has observed an increased need for support services this year and I expect this continue with the pressure of COVID-19 restrictions, the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide, and the ADF's withdrawal from the conflict in Afghanistan."
The multimillion dollar donation will further bolster support for veterans, particularly of the Afghanistan conflict, including physical and mental health, DVA claims and advocacy, education and employment, housing, income and finance, and social services.
RSL LifeCare Board Chair, Mark Dickson, said that he expects to see an increase in demand for financial assistance from the charity as communities begin to come out of lockdown over the next few months.
"The donation from RSL NSW will help to support the expansion of the organisation's service delivery in regional communities, including veteran wellbeing centres and placement of remote Claims Advisors," Mr Dickson said.
According to Mr Veenhuizen, fundraising had been significantly affected by the pandemic and lockdowns however he was hopeful that the Remembrance Day appeal in November would be able to go full steam ahead.
"We can always use help and welcome any donations to supporting veterans and their families through what it has been a difficult time," Mr Veenhuizen said.
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