Links on where and how to help with bushfire relief.
As most of us watch the horror that is engulfing such a massive part of Australia, we cannot see what a ‘new normal’ could look like.
Every summer we have known that it will be ‘bushfire season’ but no one could ever have imagined this inferno that has annihilated communities and wildlife. The toll rises, the count continues – the devastation unspeakable.
The little rain that comes evaporates before it reaches the ground – the fires are so intense that they have created their own weather patterns.
We also hear incredible stories of bravery, courage and support. The Aussie spirit of mateship and help springs to action. People open their homes, their resources and their arms to those in need. We are a truly generous people – and we give.
Sometimes it is very difficult to understand how best to give. In the cities we ask what can we do. I ask what is the best way that I can support now, and into the future.
Right now my job is to get the message out on how people can donate, and what is needed. I will use my channels to tell the uplifting stories of courage in the face of hopelessness.
We must focus on what we can do.. negativity and hate speak will not help us now.
I will tell the stories of human grit, determination and how love comes through…
Here I re-tell some:
Adam to Koala Rescue
Resident Ms Michalowski explained that in between trying to save local homes in Cudlee Creek in South Australia, a firey named Adam paused to rescue the several marsupials.
“Amazing work by a man named Adam and his mates who pulled these guys out of harms way at Cudlee Creek and into safety!” she wrote.
The group Koala Rescue had swung into action since to care for the koalas, she added, applauding Adam’s “fantastic job”.
“Adam is a firefighter and currently working out in the field – he has made everyone’s day.”
Lauren Elizabeth wrote 11 stories of courage:
- The ringtail possum that ran to the firefighter and climbed up onto him, finding safety in his helmet. That same firefighter dropped off the possum to the station and then raced to a house where he dragged a man out because he was almost killed in the house fire.
- The kangaroo that was raised by a family when it was young, released into the wild when it was old enough only for it to return years later racing into the family home and finding safety in their lounge room, the same one it was raised in.
- The Aussie spirit of sharing your house with strangers and helping those who need support. This is a story that is common in every community, it’s just rarely reported.
- Sikh volunteers driving 700km to assist and cook meals for those impacted by the bushfires as they said they ‘came to Australia with only a bag on their back and wanted to return the favor as they knew what it was like to have nothing’.
- A group of mates drove 10 hours to support the Willawarrin community impacted by bushfires and the community ‘adopted’ them being grateful for the meals and support they provided, supplying everything – from food to all the cooking equipment.
- Firefighters in SA saving 6 koalas and finding them safety in a nearby house.
- Local firefighter Kale Hardie-Porter leaving a note for the family whose property they saved and found shelter in that home, writing ‘p.s we owe you some milk’ – this post went international and showed the positive impact of one kind gesture
- IFAW koala detection dogs searching for any koalas that survived the bushfires
- Firefighters saving a pine tree that locals decorate every year for Christmas. Locals who have had the tradition for the last 7 years thought the tree would be gone, but firefighters chose to save the tree which might be small for some, but to a community impacted by the bushfires, it was something positive for them to reflect on.
- RFS Commissioner Fitzsimmons displaying amazing leadership and support. He has worn his heart on his sleeve, spoke with the families and friends of those who sadly lost their loved ones to the fires and showed up each day to get the job done.
- Or the Navy coming in to rescue and await evacuating those stranded, even allowing their pets to come on board.
Here is a list of ways to help with donations:
- The WIRES Wildlife Rescue is working to rescue animals, reporting on its website that the organization received over 20,000 calls and volunteers attended over 3,300 rescues just this December.
- The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital and Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, which both work to care for the affected koala population, have set up GoFundMe accounts.
- The RSPCA of New South Wales is working to protect and evacuate pets, livestock, and wildlife that have been affected by the fires.
Displaced People Support:
- The Australian Red Cross is helping to support those in evacuation centers, including providing emergency assistance.
- Salvation Army Australia is providing meals to evacuees and frontline responders, as well as emergency services.
- The Australian St Vincent de Paul Society is collecting money to provide food, clothing, and monetary assistance to evacuees and those who lost their homes.
- The organization Givit is helping donate in-demand items to those in need.
- If you live in Australia, you can also work with Airbnb to help offer free, temporary housing to evacuees and first responders. The Australia Red Cross has also built an online register to help people look for others affected and reunite loved ones.
Also I thank those who shared the below photographs – I do not have reference for them.. please let me know so I can acknowledge the photographer.
Also published on Medium.