The Australian bushfires have reached a state of emergency, and the true spirit of giving has shone through with thousands of people seeking more information on what they can do to help.
So far, the Australian bushfires have killed 500 million wildlife and livestock, burned 5.9 million hectares of land, taken over 2500 buildings and 18 people have been confirmed dead across NSW, Victoria and South Australia since October.
Here is a list of things you can do to assist in the bushfire crisis:
The Rural Fire Service recommends the best way to assist during the bushfires is money donations.
“The best way is to donate money. This allows people to buy the things they need, and it supports local businesses which have also been impacted. We know many people want to donate physical items such as food and clothing but these take up much needed community space,” says the RFS.
The RFS have partnered with a number of charitable organisations, which you can donate to. These include the Australian Red Cross Disaster Recovery and Relief, Salvation Army Disaster Appeal and St Vincent de Paul Society Bushfire Appeal (NSW).
The RFS also encourages donations to their volunteers and firefighters. For more information on donating to the RFS volunteers click HERE or you can support your local fire brigade via online donations HERE.
The RFS also support the work of relief volunteer teams that assist in rebuilding communities such as BlazeAid, which you can donate to HERE.
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese has started a fire appeal which anyone can donate to. The Greek Orthodox community also issued a statement:
“Kind and empathetic words are not enough. Our fellow Australians need tangible help, having lost everything to the devastation caused by the bushfires across the nation. It is time to put words into action. It is time to turn Christian teaching into mobilised and organised love and charity.”
You can donate via Paypal HERE or via wire transfer to BSB: 082-057 and ACC: 616958567.
Additionally, this Sunday January 5th, every Greek Orthodox Parish in Australia will have a collection tray for the victims of the bushfires.
The WWF have tailored their commitments to the assistance of the 500 million wildlife that have been affected by the bushfires. This includes over 8000 koalas. Australia’s environment minister says up to 30% of koalas have been killed during this bushfire season.
The WWF’s koala appeal will rebuild koala habitats and care for injured wildlife. You can donate HERE.
The initial project of the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital was to raise money to distribute automatic drinking stations to be installed in burnt areas to help koala and wildlife survival. Though, donations reached such an incredible amount that they extended their project to establish a wild koala breeding program.
With the fear of extinction dawning on Australian koala’s, the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital will create a ‘Koala Ark’, which is a healthy habitat area where saved koalas can breed a new population of koalas that will return to the wild once the bushfires are over.
You can donate to support the work of the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital HERE.
The charity Givit specialises in specifying the exact goods required in a specific crisis. In the Australian bushfires they have a full list of items needed and drop off locations.
Due to the extent of the bushfire crisis, Givit founder and director Juliette Wright said sending donations to effected areas “is only hampering their response efforts”.
For people wanting to donate unwanted Christmas gifts or other goods like clothing and toys, Givit will accept them via their online store. People are also encouraged to donate goods to stores like the Red Cross and St Vincent’s, where funding will go to those affected by the bushfires.
While volunteers cannot freely enter bushfire zones without adequate training, volunteer organisations like the Red Cross are accepting volunteers for the future.
Additionally, organisations like WIRES are accepting volunteers over 18 in NSW as volunteer wildlife rescuers and carers.
There are also a number of Facebook groups for local communities that share daily information on charity drives, item drop off locations and more information on every day things you can do to help. The Sydney Fire Support Team can be found HERE.