We have all watched the news stories and seen videos and photos of the wild fires that are devastating Australia right now. We sit back and feel helpless as homes burn, peoples lives are lost or endangered and most of all, millions of innocent animals lives are lost.
Here are some statistics:(1,2)
- 480 million animals have died as a result of the fires
- 30% of New South Wales koalas killed
- 28 people are missing in Victoria
- Over $50 million a day lost.
- 11.3 million acres destroyed, an area larger than the Netherlands.
- 2,500 buildings destroyed
- Air pollution in Sydney makes breathing equivalent to smoking 37 cigarettes.
How you can help(3,4)
Unless we’re firefighters, it’s likely we can’t go down and help directly. However, there are ways to help from a distance. Almost all organizations are asking for financial donations, instead of goods, or physical items. This is because of the difficulty and time needed to organize and disperse physical goods. Monetary donations are much easier, because they can be given directly to those in need who decide for themselves what is needed. Here’s some places to keep in mind if you’re thinking of donating.
- Donate directly to fire departments in Victoria and New South Wales: www.cfa.vic.gov.au These are the states hardest hit by the fires.
- Victorian Government: They have established a partnership with Bendigo Bank and The Salvation Army, which assists affected families and communities. Visit this site for more details vic.gov.au/bushfireappeal.
- Australian Red Cross 18,600 people affected by the fires, have been helped by the Australian Red Cross. For more information and how you can help visit their website at redcross.org.au.
- Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal: This is an Australian non-profit that raises funds and issues grants to rural and regional communities for disaster relief projects. Visit this site for more information: frrr.org.au
- Salvation Army Australia: Financial donations are being requested, instead of physical goods. Donate HERE.
- St. Vincent de Paul: This Catholic organization currently has more than 60,000 members and volunteers in Australia, helping those in need. How is donated money dispersed? $50 (about $35 American dollars) can provide food for a displaced family; $150 can help stave off bills; and $300 can help clothe a fleeing family that had to leave behind their belongings. Follow this link to donate to the bush fire appeal
- WIRES: This organization, based in New South Wales, is the Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc., and are Australia’s largest wildlife rescue organization. Donations to this organization will go to help wildlife affected by the fires. . Learn more at wires.org.au.
- Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital: This hospital is owned and run by the family of famed wildlife conservationist and “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin. They are taking in many animals affected by the fires. Donate at azwh.blackbaud-sites.com.
- RSPCA Australia: The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Australia, is the nation’s leading animal welfare charity. Donations will help fund the rescue and treatment of animals affected by the fires. For more information, visit their website HERE.
- World Wildlife Fund Australia: Donations to the Australian chapter of the international wildlife conservation organization will help care for injured wildlife. Also, the organization plans to plant 10,000 native trees in critical koala habitat, once the fires have cleared. Donate at donate.wwf.org.au.
Remember, part of social wellness is remembering that what affects one part of society affects all of us. We are all on this planet and in this life together. Helping other people in need, helps all of us.
Until next time…Namaste my friends