UnLtd launches auction appeal for children impacted by bushfires

The media and marketing industry’s social purpose organisation, UnLtd, is launching a series of auctions to raise money for children impacted by Australia’s bushfire emergency, and is asking the industry to donate items and services.

With the first auctions to occur after Sydney and Melbourne’s Big Clash events on 13 and 27 February, UnLtd said the initiative offers a different way to give back. Accordingly, it is asking for the donation of items and experiences such as tickets (to concerts, conferences, or sporting events), holiday accommodation, gifts, or services.

Those donations can be made through an online form or by contacting

“Like the rest of the nation, we’ve been deeply saddened by the bushfire crisis. Having to evacuate and drive through the smoke and red skies in Merimbula, I’ve seen first-hand the devastating impact the fires have had on the communities across Australia. It was scary as an adult and I can only imagine how frightening it is for the children living in these areas,” CEO Chris Freel said.

“What has been incredibly positive though is the response – so many individuals and organisations have given so generously to the various fundraisers. UnLtd is all about giving our industry the power to help but there’s only so much you can give as donations so we wanted to find a way for our industry to help beyond just cash donations.

“We know our industry is a very fortunate one with many of us having access to incredible experiences like corporate boxes at concerts, movie screenings, holiday homes and much more and we want to use those for good.”

UnLtd’s auction appeal is the latest of a string of industry initiatives to launch in response to the bushfire crisis. TBWA and incoming IPG Mediabrands CEO Mark Coad spearheaded a campaign to drive funds to the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund, which, to date, has raised around $4m.

Boutique agency Upstride launched ‘Creatives for Bushfires’, which is currently taking registrations for people and agencies to volunteer their services to small businesses in affected areas. So far, 400 expressions of interest have been lodged to support recovering businesses.

And this week, the ‘Wage for a Wage‘ and Bushfire PR Alliance initiatives were revealed. ‘Wage for a Wage’ asks industry members to donate one day’s wage to a volunteer firefighter, while the Alliance has seen 21 PR agencies pledge to ‘adopt’ an affected community and provide it with much-needed communications support.

UnLtd’s chief operating officer, Rachel Troy, said that the auction program is complementary to these existing initiatives because its aim is specifically to help children.

“What we see often after a natural disaster is an immediate response in donations, which is of course fantastic, but what sometimes gets forgotten is the long-lasting impact these tragedies have on the communities, especially the children,” Troy explained.

“Our charity partners are all experts in breaking the cycle of disadvantage and the funds raised through our auctions this year will go to fund programs that tackle the trauma of these devastating fires, to help children heal and to stop the cycle before it develops into bigger issues.”

UnLtd said the auction funds will go to its charity partners that are specialists in childhood trauma and mental health. It said it cannot announce specific programs yet because the best solutions are still being prepared.

“We will be guided by their expertise to identify the programs that can deliver the most impact,” UnLtd told Mumbrella.

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