There are a multitude of words to describe Australia’s bushfires. Devastating. Terrifying. Apocalyptic. But none of them really do justice to the scale of the tragedy.
At the time of writing, the death toll stands at 25 people and thousands, if not millions of animals.
Around 13 million hectares have been burned, almost the size of England.
With so many harrowing pictures of ruined homes and exhausted firefighters on the news, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and a bit helpless if you’re unsure what to do. This is a list of all the donation services you can use to help out. All charitable donations over two dollars are also tax-deductible.
There are numerous rural fire services who desperately need assistance.
You can donate to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service here. You can donate directly using an online form or with a bank transfer. Posting cheques is also acceptable.
— CFS Talk (@CFSTalk) January 7, 2020
You can also donate to the services that look after injured wildlife.
The RSPCA has started a fund you can donate to here.
BUSHFIRE RELIEF FAQS – With conditions constantly changing, we are sharing the following info in an effort to keep you updated on current action being taken, as well as to provide advice in seeking support & offering care to animals affected by the fires: https://t.co/m1pVrUt1gY pic.twitter.com/ZENkKMYtYI
— RSPCA NSW (@RSPCANSW) January 7, 2020
New South Wales’ WIRES organisation has received millions of dollars in donations already, but Wildlife Victoria has only brought in $1.25 million this bushfire season, so they are in greater need of assistance. You can donate to them here.
Relief and recovery
The Red Cross has started a disaster relief fund to assist communities affected by the disaster. You can donate here.
The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal runs long-term projects to support communities months after they’re struck by disaster. You can donate here.
You may want to donate food, clothes and furniture, but towns affected by the fires are saying the best thing to do is donate cash. Locals and charities have to spend hours sorting goods and wasting time when there are more pressing matters to address. It is great that Australians are being so generous but the communities don’t want physical donations at this point in time.
Unfortunately, some terrible people will use tragedy to make a profit. The ACCC has put out a warning not to donate to any suspicious pages. It’s best to verify any pages you come across using the official charities register. One handy tip is that if a page has “.gov” or “.org” in the web address at the top of the page, it’s more than likely OK.
If you receive an unsolicited call requesting donations, it’s fake. Just hang up. Similarly, any text messages or emails you receive relating to bushfire donations that you didn’t ask for are fake and should be deleted.
These bushfires are a dreadful tragedy but we can all do our bit to help. Just a few dollars will mean so much to the communities gutted by fire. Please donate as much as you can.