How To Donate To Fight The Australian Bushfires, Because Everyone Needs Help
Ever since Australia's fire season got off to an early start in September 2019, the country has been battling devastating bushfires across the continent. Southeastern states like New South Wales and Victoria have been hit especially hard, and firefighters are working hard to contain the blazes. These fires across Australia have destroyed thousands of homes, killed more than two dozen people and possibly one billion animals, and burned across millions of acres of land. If you are able to, you can donate to fight the Australian bushfires, because the firefighters could use your help.
On Wednesday, Jan. 8, thunderstorms and rainfall brought Australian firefighters a brief reprieve as they continued fighting bushfires across the country — but it may not be for long. According to the Associated Press, hot temperatures and windy conditions are expected to return, and lightning strikes could spark additional fires. The majority of Australia's firefighters are unpaid volunteers working lengthy shifts to combat the blazes, and several of them have already died in the line of duty. The fires have been burning for so long that firefighters from California in the United States — which has seen its own fair share of fires — are among those traveling to Australia to help out.
If you've been following the news of the Australia fires and are looking for a way to help, you have a few different options. One of them, if you're financially able, is to donate to regional fire services or bushfire relief funds, in order to support the firefighters and victims on the ground. Below is a sample list of services and organizations that could definitely use your help.
If you want your money to go directly toward supporting Australian firefighters, many of whom are unpaid volunteers, there are a few different places you can donate to:
- New South Wales Rural Fire Service: New South Wales is a southeastern state in Australia, and it has been hit the hardest by bushfires. You can follow this link to donate to a specific local brigade or directly to the NSW Rural Fire Service.
- South Australian Country Fire Service: The South Australian County Fire Service has more than 13,000 volunteers across the state, and could really use your help as they continue to respond to bushfires. You can donate to the Country Fire Service at this link.
- Western Australia Fire Service: The Western Australia Fire Service website offers a few different ways for you to donate. You can donate to volunteer fire and rescue service brigades, volunteer fire and emergency services, or to local bushfire services.
- Country Fire Authority's Victorian Bushfire Relief: In Victoria, the Country Fire Authority gives you the option to donate to families and communities affected by the fires, or to support the wellbeing of volunteer firefighters.
- National support: Comedian Celeste Barber created a Facebook fundraiser on January 2 that was initially trying to raise money for The Trustee for NSW Rural Fire Service & Brigades Donations Fund, which buys equipment for fire brigades across New South Wales. Now that the fundraiser has received more than $33 million U.S. dollars, however, Barber has indicated the money would be distributed to all Australian states fighting bushfires. You can donate to the fundraiser at this link.
Even as firefighters continue to fight fires across Australia, many families and communities have had to evacuate their homes, and many have seen their communities destroyed. Here are a few ways to support local families and communities impacted by the fires.
- Fire Relief Fund for First Nations Communities: Many of the fires are currently burning across indigenous lands. To help indigenous Australians, First Nations community activist and musician Neil Morris has created a GoFundMe page to cover temporary relocation costs, emergency relief costs, and more for First Nations people in Australia. Click this link to donate now.
- GIVIT: GIVIT is an Australian not-for-profit that works to alleviate poverty across the country. In light of the bushfires, GIVIT is taking to donations to help people who have been impacted and to purchase essential items. To donate to GIVIT, follow this link.
- Save The Children: Save The Children Australia is working to create "Child Friendly Spaces" in fire evacuation areas in order to help displaced kids cope. If you live outside Australia, you can donate via Facebook, at this link.
There are many different ways to support those impacted by the Australia bushfires. You can donate to local fire services, support victim relief funds, and pass these links on to your friends and family. Even if you're unable to make a donation at this time, you can share this information online so that other people might donate.