We would have loved to start this article with HAPPY NEW YEAR!
However, many of our community were faced with anything but! The bushfires have ravaged massive chunks across our glorious country and we were inundated with messages from caravanning & camping families who were stuck, scared and even trapped! It has been gutwrenching.
According to Wiki…”it has burned an estimated 6.3 million hectares (16 million acres; 63,000 square kilometres; 24,000 square miles), destroyed over 2,500 buildings (including over 1,300 houses) and killed 25 people as of 5 January 2020. The bushfires are regarded by some as one of the worst bushfire seasons in memory” Not to mention the 1/2 a BILLION (yes…you read that right) animals that have been killed as well…
Our team around Australia have done their very best to get help & assistance to those affected and inform and educate…we sent a message to our facebook community on the 2nd of January to cancel travel plans…FOR NOW…and heed the warnings!
Many of us are left feeling helpless. What can we do to help?
Here are a couple of options if you want to help:
1. Plan a Holiday or Day Trip:
Tegan Weber said it brilliantly on Facebook and these words have since gone viral!
“I want you to do just one simple thing. When these fires have stopped, and the towns impacted are safe and trying to regain some sense of ‘normal’, I want you to plan a road trip. Go with empty eskies, empty cars and low fuel. Go, spend your money, stay in their hotels, buy from their shops, camp at their camp grounds, buy their gifts, buy their fuel, buy bread and milk. Beyond rebuilding, they need continued and long term support to get back on their feet and your empty esky makes more of a difference than you could ever imagine.
UPDATE: we grabbed some mates and headed to Yackandandah in Victoria – a small country town that was not directly affected by the fires but the warnings meant that no-one visited in their peak season and ALL the businesses suffered. We went with empty eskies and supported the town & locals.
Should we donate goods & services, clothes, toys? The authorities have informed us that they have been overwhelmed with support and have asked that people halt physical donations as they do not have the resources in the affected areas to handle it all…they have assured us that if you DONATE to the Bushfire Appeal or the state Emergency Services sectors – your money WILL go to the affected areas…
Here are a few of the places you could donate to:
The Red Cross supports a variety of efforts such as supporting people at evacuation centres and providing emergency assistance like cash grants to people who have lost their homes
Salvation Army team members are providing meals to first-line responders and evacuees, as well as any other support needed, Major Topher Holland, the organisation’s General Manager of Strategic Emergency and Disaster Management, said in a statement.
You can either donate straight to the NSW RFS or to your local Rural Fire Brigade to support volunteer firefighters.
Like the NSW RFS, you can donate either to a specific brigade or provide a general donation.
The Victorian Government teamed up with The Salvation Army and Bendigo Bank for the appeal, with all funds going to communities in need.
NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) rescues and cares for animals and is seeking donations for volunteer carers and rescuers that are “indundated” with them amid the bushfires.
PLEASE ADD ANY OTHER DONATION POINTS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW…
STAY SAFE EVERYONE x
*Photo: Matthew Abbot
*Research: Facebook, news.com.au, Wikipedia, Business Insider