Mega disasters like the Australian bushfires of 2019/ 2020 have truly bought out the absolute extremes in more than the weather. From absent climate denying Prime Ministers right through to people and businesses using what they have to make what they can (like pouches for injured animals) and celebrities around the world donating eye watering amounts of money to support local volunteering, this has been a defining summer. And it's not over yet. MORE THAN 11.4 MILLION HECTARES HAVE BEEN BURNED ACROSS AUSTRALIA AND OVER HALF OF THAT LAND IS IN NEW SOUTH WALES AND VICTORIA. UNFORTUNATELY FOR NATIVE ANIMALS AND VEGETATION, MOST OF IT WAS IN FORESTS AND NATIONAL PARKS. IT IS ESTIMATED, BASED ON EARLY STUDIES OF NATIVE ANIMAL POPULATION DENSITY THAT 1.25 BILLION NATIVE ANIMALS HAVE PERISHED IN THE AUSTRALIAN BUSHFIRES. While there's some squabbling about exactly how many animals have perished, what is true is that the body count is enormous and at least hundreds of millions have perished, there are many species that are likely to go extinct and many of those who remain need our help. And that goes for both natives and human animals.
Many Australians are already either helping the fire efforts or donating. There are so many ways individuals and companies can help the thousands of different efforts underway to help, that you can literally choose the effort closest to your own heart and go support it. The fastest way to find what works for you is to literally google it and search for specific options. We've rounded up a pile of places you can donate or help, if you haven't already - or if you would like to do so again.
Please bear in mind that while money is useful and the most versatile, whether you have a lot of money or very little, you can do your wardrobe or linen cupboard a clean out and give fabrics like these in the main image to places like Dogstar or give clothing.
Generally money is the best way to support those who are dealing with the immediate impacts of the fires on wildlife as it gives the most versatility. Here are a few that we found. NSW wildlife victims, Wildlife Victoria, Mogo Zoo Fire Recovery, Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, Kangaroo Island Wildlife, Also bear in mind is the longer term needs for environmental restoration through groups like the WWF who are seeking donations to help save wildlife, and when the fires have cleared, restore our lost forests.
NSW: You can join Celeste Barber's incredible fund raising efforts for NSW Fire Services which will reach $51,000,000 this week. Also the NSW Rural Fire Service is taking donations. Victorian Fire Services official place to donate money was with the Bendigo Bank - at branches or online. SA: You can donate at the CFS Foundation. There are also fund raisers in place for Kangaroo Island and for Cudlee Creek fires impact, which the SA Government started with $1,000,000. In Queensland, you can donate to a specific Fire Brigade.
Donations to NFPs can help provide food, clothing, bedding, furniture and appliances to those who have been evacuated or who have lost their homes.
Beyond Blue has published help for anyone experiencing mental health issues or simply looking for support, or to understand feelings in these extraordinary times.
Image: Dogstar, Brisbane, Qld, Australia