Australia has started the new year on a somber note, with bushfires continuing to burn in almost every state of the country.
In an unprecedented bushfire season, 24 people have been killed and over 2,000 homes have been destroyed. Thousands more have been evacuated and displaced, with over 12 million acres of land completely gutted by the bushfires – an area approximately the size of South Korea or the U.S. states of Vermont and New Hampshire combined.
As an Australian myself, the impact has been devastating and we’re not really sure when it will end. We still have two long, hot months left of summer and the bushfire season.
But seeing the outpouring of generosity from all around the world has been incredible. Celeste Barber, an Australian comedian who was evacuated from her home last year, has raised more than $50 million in a Facebook fundraiser that went viral.
If you too would like to help, I’ve listed 4 Australian charities below that are providing emergency assistance and are on the frontline of the crisis.
Sydney University has estimated more than 480 million animals have died in Australia since September, as a result of the bushfires.
Here’s a look at what they’re doing on the ground:
To help the NSW wildlife victims, you can donate to the NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) here.
2. The Australian Red Cross
A lot of emergency response efforts are state-based. So one of the best charities to donate to is The Australian Red Cross – as it is helping coordinate a national response for those affected by the crisis.
The Red Cross is providing support to displaced people sheltering in more than 69 evacuation and recovery centers. The Red Cross also provides emergency grants to help people cover their immediate needs.
3. St Vincent De Paul
The St Vincent De Paul Society is also running an appeal to help rebuild the lives of those affected by fires through the provision of food, clothing, furniture and money to pay bills.
Donations can be made at any Vinnies retail outlet or through their website.
4. The Rural Fire Service
The Australian Rural Fire Service is not a charity, however many of our firefighters are volunteers.
As the Rural Fire Services are all state-run, the best way to donate to the national effort is through Celeste Barber’s Facebook Fundraiser. The RFS will be coordinating funds between the different states, to where it’s needed most.
Another Way To Give
Australian athlete, motivational speaker and burn victim Turia Pitt has taken to social media to urge her followers about the importance of helping local businesses that may have been affected by the bushfire crisis.
So, if you want to buy something (now, or in the future), check out @spendwiththem on Instagram and buy something from one of these places.
The page has already garnered over 40,000 followers. You can find it here.