Image credit: Melina Illustrates
Our start to the year has been heartbreaking. As bushfires tear through our beautiful country, we have lost at least 22 lives and over 1,500 homes to the bushfires, leaving thousands of Australians displaced indefinitely. It has also been estimated that over 480 million animals have died in NSW alone since September 2019.
As we band together and put pressure on our government to act, we urge everyone to pitch in where they can and support affected communities through this crisis. We are seeing incredible acts of kindness around us, from free coffees and food for those fighting the fires, to money donations to aid recovery – any way you are able to help is encouraged.
Money donations to state fire services:
- NSW: NSW RFS donate
- Victoria: CFA Donate
- South Australia: CFS donate
- Queensland: RFBAQ donate
Money donations to relief and recovery funds:
- Bendigo Bank Bushfires Disaster Appeal (Endorsed by Vic Govt with a $2 million donation) established as a nationwide fund and six other funds for each state. All money will go to those who have lost everything for immediate relief.
- Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund helping support evacuation centers and recovery programs for the affected communities.
- The Salvation Army Disaster Appeal set up to deliver support to local communities affected by the blazes.
- St Vincent de Paul Society Bushfire Appeal helping provide food, clothing and money that bushfire victims may need to pay their bills.
- Foodbank is taking donations to help people in need during the crisis get relief for communities cut off from power and food.
- The NSW RFS has established official funds for the young families of Samuel McPaul, Geoffrey Keaton and Andrew O’Dwyer, who lost their lives battling fires this season. Donations can be made via Support firefighter families on the NSWRFS site.
- Kangaroo Island Mayor’s Relief Fund (Endorsed by SA Govt) set up to aid the recovery of the bushfire-ravaged island.
- The State Emergency Relief Fund (SERF) has also been launched for those affected by the Adelaide Hills fires at Cudlee Creek and beyond.
Wildlife-focussed relief and recovery funds:
- WWF Australia is raising money to help restore homes for the koalas when the fires have cleared. More than 2000 koalas have perished in NSW alone.
- NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) rescues and cares for animals and is seeking donations for volunteer carers and recuers that are “indundated” with them amid the bushfires.
- The RSPCA bushfire appeal is used to protect the pets, livestock and wildlife affected by bushfires, helping evacuate animals from disaster zones. Items like livestock pellets and possum boxes are also incredibly handy.
- The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital has a GoFundMe page that seeks funding for Koalas affected by the bushfires.
- Zoos Victoria have established a Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund which funds emergency vet assistance. You can donate to the fund here and it accepts PayPal and credit cards.
- Airbnb has established an emergency housing site for those displaced by the bushfires via its Open Homes initiative. You can book free accommodation in certain areas of New South Wales and Victoria.
- Find A Bed, established by Australian writer Erin Riley, allows people to offer up a bed or locate a bed in NSW, Victoria and South Australia. It currently has 900 registered volunteers.
- Queensland-government-backed Givit is coordinating donations of items across Australia.