Melaleuca delivers funds, supplies, and hope in wake of devastating Australian bushfires

The hearts and hands of Melaleuca Australia are bringing hope and healing in the wake of the country’s worst bushfire season on record.  As Australians begin the difficult process of rebuilding from the ashes, Melaleuca is gathering funds and supplies to help neighbors rebuild and press forward even as the bushfires still rage. What began as a simple financial donation to the Australian Red Cross a few weeks ago has now become a major relief effort with multiple financial and product donations exceeding $50,000—and growing.

Initially, Melaleuca employees and the Melaleuca Foundation presented the Australian Red Cross with a cash donation to help victims staying in the nonprofit’s rescue and emergency shelters. Days later, to help our firefighters battling on the front lines, Melaleuca delivered $20,000 worth of wellness products to Operation Angel, a humanitarian organization providing relief packs to volunteer firefighters and other emergency workers. Volunteers are using Melaleuca’s donation to create hundreds of care packs that are being distributed throughout Victoria and South Australia.

“In the face of this disaster, we have been humbled to see the compassion, generosity and resilience of the Melaleuca family,” said Melaleuca International President Jerry Felton. “So many Team Members, customers and Marketing Executives have contributed time, money, and resources to help those fighting the bushfires and those who need help. It’s amazing to watch everyone pull together and become united.”

Melaleuca ANZ General Manager, Peter Lamb, with staff from Operation Angel as they prepare relief packs for firefighters using Melaleuca products.

Helping Families of the Fallen

In addition to cash donations and humanitarian products, Melaleuca has donated $30,000 to help the families of three volunteer firefighters who tragically died in the line of duty: Samuel McPaul, 28, Geoffrey Keaton, 32, and Andrew O’Dwyer, 36.  Their loss is mourned deeply by their wives, children, extended families, and the entire firefighting community.

RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons presented Megan with her husband’s bravery award. (Twitter: NSW RFS).

Geoffrey Keaton and Andrew O’Dwyer, both in the same volunteer fire department, died when their vehicle was struck by a falling tree. They each leave behind a wife and very young children.

“When we learned of the three brave men who died fighting the bushfires, we wanted to do something special for their grieving families,” Felton said. “It is our honor and privilege to show our spirit by supporting the wives and children of these heroes.”

Firefighters Andrew O’Dwyer (left) and Geoffrey Keaton were both father to young children. Used with permission from the BBC

Melaleuca has donated $10,000 to each of the families of these fallen firefighters. The donation was made to SWR Firefighters Brotherhood, an organization dedicated to aiding firefighters and their families.

A Major GoFundMe Campaign

Additionally, Melaleuca has launched a GoFundMe account for the families of McPaul, Keaton, and O’Dwyer. During the month of February, Melaleuca will match dollar-for-dollar all donations made by Australian and New Zealand customers. In early March, Melaleuca will present a check with the fundraiser’s earnings to the families of the three fallen firefighters.