It’s hard to fathom that the images we are seeing broadcast on our television screens and across news sites and social media are actually happening in real time, and that they aren’t scenes from an upcoming movie or new Netflix drama series.
Following months of record-breaking temperatures and drought that have sparked bigger blazes than ever before, at least 24 people have died in New South Wales and Victoria, more than 1,000 homes have been destroyed and nearly half a billion animals have been killed.
As the world continues to watch in total horror and utter disbelief at the devastating fires that continue to tear through Australia, here are 5 ways in which you can offer help and support to those affected by donating to organisations on the ground.
DONATE TO FIRE SERVICES
The bravery shown by fire service men and woman on the frontline tackling the blazes is nothing but astounding – you can donate to volunteer fire services including the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, Country Fire Authority in Victoria, County Fire Service (CFA) in South Australia and Queensland’s Rural Fire Brigades Association.
You can also support the families of three firefighters who lost their lives whilst on duty here.
HELP FAMILIES AFFECTED BY THE CRISIS
For many of us it’s hard to even begin to imagine what the people of Australia are going through right now, with so many losing all their worldly possessions, homes and loved ones.
Foodbank is a hunger relief charity in Australia. For every $1 donate, they can provide $6 worth of supplies to communities affected by the fires.
Vinnies is providing food, clothing and other essentials to families affected by the wildfires, as well as offering financial support in the aftermath. The charity has helpfully broken down what your donation would help pay for – for example, 50 Australian dollars can pay for food for a family that has been evacuated.
Save the Children are collecting donations to support affected kids by building “child friendly spaces” where they can play together and process these changes in a supportive environment. The idea here is to let parents focus on recovery and rebuilding without having to worry about their kids dealing with the additional trauma of loss of community.
SUPPORT INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES
Indigenous communities are those that, having a historical continuity with pre-invasion and pre-colonial societies that developed on their territories, consider themselves distinct from other sectors of the societies now prevailing in those territories, or parts of them.
These communities are most often hit the hardest in climate disasters, so to help those in Australia a GoFundMe page has been setup to directly help First Nations communities in the east of the country, including Gippsland, and on the south coast of New South Wales.
You don’t have to give a lot, but if everybody gave just a little something…
HELP WILDFIRE UNDER THREAT
The internet has been rife with harrowing images of injured animals caught up in the fires, all of which are truly heartbreaking.
Whilst sadly many animals have already perished in the fires, there some survivors who are in desperate need of help. Thankfully the following organisations are on hand to rescue and treat those animals in need…
WIRES is an organization that is committed to rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife rescue in Australia. This organization states on its site that “with the fires destroying unprecedented amounts of habitat, food shortages have increased and lack of suitable habitat will be a significant long-term challenge for surviving wildlife.” You can donate to WIRES here.
The WWF notes on its site that just five percent of the Koala population remains. This number will likely plummet once recovery of the bushfires is underway. The WWF is working to save Australian wildlife and restore land for future habitats – you can donate to the organisation here.
Vets Beyond Borders is delivering life-saving medical care to animals affected by the Australia bushfires. You can donate to Vets Beyond Borders here.
We defy anybody to tell us that the Australian wildfires are not the result of the global climate crisis our world faces right now.
Thanks to social media, everybody has the opportunity of a platform – be sure to use yours in the right way by speaking out and raising awareness of the dangers we all face! Be respectful, but be firm, don’t be afraid to share how you feel or your desire for change.
As well as speaking out on social media, there is also the option of writing to your local and national politicians to demand urgent action be taken – voice your fears, speak aloud your concerns, there is only so long that we can be ignored.
Use your voice for good! A united world is more powerful than a divided one.
*Warning – if you do plan on donating money to any charitable organisation or funding page, please be wary of scams & be mindful with your donation, so that it doesn’t end up in the wrong hands.*