Australia is facing one of the worst bushfires in its history, with rural communities displaced and over 1,500 homes destroyed – and the sweltering summer season has just begun.
You can play your part to help firefighters and volunteers on the ground support affected communities and wildlife – all you have to do is donate $5 to any of these charities.
There is no way to put this nicely: Australia is going up in flames. Bushfires began ravaging in parts of the states of New South Wales and Victoria as early as September 2019. The preexisting drought and drier conditions have only accelerated the spread of the disaster.
Right now, over 70,000 members of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service are combating the fire, most of them volunteers driven by compassion to protect as many communities and animals as possible. The BBC estimates that more than 3,000 firefighters are on the ground every day, doing their best to tame the flames. Additionally, over 3,000 army reservists have been deployed to assist, and four water bombers have been leased to boost firefighting efforts.
Impressive Himawari rapid scan animation showing smoke from the NSW & VIC fires heading east into the Tasman Sea. The images are 2.5 minutes apart capturing more detail. Notice the afternoon thunderstorms over NSW. Read about Himawari satellite at https://t.co/sTvIw7xdKl pic.twitter.com/swU1dlYl4e
— Bureau of Meteorology, Australia (@BOM_au) January 4, 2020
However, the fires have only gotten worse due to the strong winds and dry air. The state of New South Wales has been in a state of emergency, with locals and vacationers being evacuated out of the affected areas. That has been its own challenge, with standstill traffic at most exits and fires blocking off entire roads. Some communities have had to seek refuge at beaches and jump into the sea to stay safe from the flames.
— Alastair Prior (@alastairprior) December 31, 2019
Thousands of Australians have been displaced, their homes destroyed. These climate refugees face the daunting task of finding a place to stay as they rebuild their lives from scratch.
The defining image for our next decade as we enter a “new normal” of climate change. Thanks Allison Marion for sharing your photo. Hoping your family and loved ones are safe and unharmed. #MallacootaFires #Mallacoota #bushfirecrisis #ClimateEmergency @ScottMorrisonMP pic.twitter.com/RW3GnGkfFq
— James Meldrum (@_JamesMeldrum) December 31, 2019
But here in sunny Singapore, we can barely feel or see the effects of the raging forest fires, and we are in a privileged situation to actually make a difference. All you need is $5 to the charity of your choice. It’s not much, but collectively, we can do so much for our Australian peers.
We have compiled links to as many charities as we could find, all of which are aiding in the fight against the Australian Bushfires. Please donate as much as you can, to as many charities as possible. They need all the funds and help they can get.
Support the communities!
Australian Red Cross
The Australian Red Cross is providing necessary aid, supporting people in evacuation centres and recovery hubs all across Australia. Their “Register.Find.Reunite” service helps bring families and loved ones together, registering over 30,000 people and more than 5,000 inquiries so far.
Your donation will go to recovery programs and services, help people prepare for disasters and the training, equipment, logistics and coordination of their volunteers.
The Salvation Army Emergency Services
The Salvation Army has readied teams to support the efforts to contain and put out the bushfires. At the moment, the Salvation Army is providing meals to evacuees and frontline responders. As the situation changes and develops, the Salvation Army will continue to support their efforts in any way possible.
St Vincent de Paul Society (Vinnies)
Vinnies is currently working with evacuees to provide aid, helping them recover from the immediate effects of the fire. They will continue to support affected communities to rebuild their lives and reinstate a sense of normalcy in the long term.
Your donation will provide food, clothing, essential items and grocery vouchers to evacuees, pay unexpected bills and expense, provide a referral to other specialised organisations and provide much needed emotional support plus practical assistance.
NSW Rural Fire Service
The Rural Fire Brigade needs your aid more than ever before. Their members and volunteers need support to continue fighting the fires. Many of them are doing so with no pay or incentive, fueled only by their goodwill. The funds collected will ensure they can get all the necessary equipment and resources needed to fight the fires effectively.
Food Bank Australia works with charities to provide impoverished Australians much needed food and supplies. Being the largest food relief organisation in Australia, Food Bank Australia is actively providing food and water to evacuees and will need as much funds as possible to support the affected community as they rebuild their lives.
(States currently affected by the fires are: NSW, QLD, VIC, SA, TAS, WA)
Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund
The Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund provides relief and assistance to communities within the Gippsland municipalities of Bass Coast, South Gippsland, Latrobe, Baw Baw, Wellington and East Gippsland. Their aid helps the affected individuals and their families recover from the injury, loss, and damage from natural disasters.
Dacre Montgomery Fundraiser
The Australian Stranger Things star has set up a fundraiser for Red Cross Australia that will go towards supporting communities and affected regions, including supporting people at evacuation centres, emergency assistance, supporting volunteers, covering expenses, and long term recovery efforts.
Check out the Twitter hashtag #AuthorsForFireys, where authors from all over the world are auctioning exclusive copies of their books, merch and more in a bid to raise money to fight the Australian Bushfires. This is your chance to make a big donation in exchange for a call with your favourite author or unreleased screenplays for your personal perusal – all while doing your part to support the efforts to put out the fires. View the thread here: https://twitter.com/
Save the animals!
The catastrophic bushfires are happening right in “Koala Triangle”, a region where koalas are facing extinction in less than 30 years, and these fires are doing nothing but drawing that date closer. Beyond just koalas, an estimated 480 million animals have been killed since September 2019, and those that have escaped are injured and homeless. You can help WWF conserve and restore the wildlife lost in the blaze by donating through the link below.
Help Thirsty Koalas Devastated by Recent Fires
Since the fire began, the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital has taken in over 31 koalas from severe fire grounds. As soon as they are taken in, they are given life-saving hydration an treatment for their burns. As the fire continues to rage on, they will need additional funds to take in and treat more koalas.
The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital also plans to use the funds to purchase water-carrying vehicles with firefighting capabilities to replenish the drinking stations they have installed for the wildlife.
NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc. have rescued and cared for native animals for the last 30 years. WIRES has continued to face back-to-back emergencies way before September 2019, as animals were already struggling with the lack of water and food due to the drought. They need your help as they continue to rescue and care for the increasing number of animals affected by the forest fires. Donate at the link below.
Help with the recovery!
The Chrome extension does so much more than generate search results. ECOsia uses the profits made from your search results to plant trees all over the world. As featured on The Guardian, Forbes and Upworthy, ECOsia has planted over 79 million trees and counting (there is a counter on the site)! By simply using their extension, you can help plant more trees, rebuild the Australian forests and reduce global warming. So why not install it?
Bushfire trauma/mental health support
Will Connolly and Magda Szubanski have set up a GoFundMe page to help victims recover emotionally and psychologically from the traumatic fires. Their mission is to support survivors over the long term, as they understand that life will be hard for them in the coming months and years. They will be working with Beyond Blue to make sure your funds go to organisations that can best help them.
Bonus: Firefighter Cancer Coalition Petition
After you have made your donations, head over to this petition that is incredibly important for the firefighters. Currently, firefighters in New South Wales are ill-equipped for the long term, massive bushfires they have been facing. Their current P2 mask only provides short term protection, and they need better masks to withstand the long hours fighting the unremitting blaze. Help NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian push this initiative forward by signing this petition.
Which of these charities did you donate to? Share more donation links in the comment section.
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