By: Kelly Chia, Features Editor
As of the time this article is being written, 10.7 million hectares have been burnt in Australia. The Guardian reports that 1,700 homes have been lost, and 23 people have died due to the bushfires in South Australia, New South Wales (NSW), and Victoria. The ecological damage is devastating: The Age reports scientists’ fear that millions of animals are dead, but it is difficult to estimate as these bushfires are unprecedented in scale and severity.
To put it bluntly, a continent is burning. Below, we’ve listed some organizations you can donate to.
We can donate to the firefighters; donations to the following organizations are going toward the general benefit of the volunteer fire brigades. Some of the organizations listed below specifically provide financial assistance to the firefighters, helping lessen distress caused by the fires. These donations allow them to continue supporting their communities.
NSW Rural Fire Service
With 100 fires burning across the state, NSW has been heavily affected by the fires in particular. Donations to the NSW Rural Fire Service generally go towards the volunteer brigades.
The CFS Foundation provides immediate financial help for volunteer firefighters in South Australia to alleviate any suffering they may have undergone in their line of service.
County Fire Authority (CFA) Fire Service
Based in Victoria, the CFA Fire Service lets donors choose what they’d like their money to go towards. They can donate towards the welfare of the volunteer firefighters, affected communities, or donate directly to the organization itself.
Rural Fire Brigade Association Queensland (RFBAQ)
The RFBAQ represents more than 1,400 brigades in Queensland. Donations going towards RFBAQ will provide the rural fire brigades with tools and resources that their volunteers need.
These are resources dedicated to rebuilding communities and providing hunger and financial relief to them.
Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR)
FRRR is an organization that claims their Disaster Resilience and Recovery Fund will help directly support community leaders. In the past, FRRR says that it has donated 19 million dollars for disaster relief.
Fire Relief Fund for First Nations Communities
This is a fundraiser through GoFundMe specifically to rebuild affected First Nations communities. Led by community rights and empowerment advocate Neil Morris, a Yorta Yorta First Nations man, the fundraiser’s goals are to provide amenities, basic refurbishing, temporary shelter, and funds to help replace valuable items. Morris says that the aim for this fundraiser is to provide “culturally sensitive, specific direct support to some of those communities with critical costs to cover expenses.”
Foodbank is an organization focused on hunger relief that works with 2,400 charity-run food relief programs. Donations will support communities in Victoria, though you can choose different states to donate to as well.
Lord Mayor’s Distress Relief Fund (LMDRF)
The LMDRF provides “financial assistance to individuals for the alleviation and relief of distress, suffering and personal hardships, brought about by any disaster or emergency within Western Australia.” They establish a permanent fund so that it can always be provided in emergency times. The City of Perth manages the administration fees, so donations are completely dedicated to people in need.
Over the last few weeks, the number of animals that have died in the bushfires has surpassed one billion. Many animals will lose their home while fleeing, and some of the resources are dedicated to provide drinking water for them as they become dehydrated.
Port Macquarie Koala Hospital Fundraiser
This is a fundraiser that puts drinking stations throughout the region for animal use. The money has thus far been used to build 100 drinking stations in New South Wales.
WIRES is dedicated to wildlife rescue in Australia, and this emergency season has seen them busier than ever. Financial donations will allow them to help on a national level, letting them give funds to other states and territories, as they’ve been primarily focusing their efforts on NSW.
SAVEM is a Tier 2 Response and Recovery Agency in South Australia. This means that in an emergency, they are given clearance by the Control Agency (the South Australia Country Fire Service for Bushfire) to give emergency veterinary assistance. They “assess, triage, treat, shelter, reunite with owners or rehabilitate and return to habitat all species of animal post-event.” Currently, they’re focusing on livestock, and are waiting to be asked to provide wildlife tasking in a few weeks.
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Australia
WWF says that donations will be used to collaborate with communities and scientists to provide a fast emergency response to help habitats recover. They would also like to “future-proof” Australia by funding solutions that help mitigate climate change to secure Australian natural resources.