As the fires continue to blaze in many parts of Australia, our heart is heavy with our loved ones and families of friends far and wide being affected by the crisis. We wanted to create this resource to help anyone who, like us, are eager to help but unsure of where to go or what to do.
If you have the means to do so, monetary contribution by the means of donation is the most effective way to help ease the burden of many organisations in Australia working day in, day out, to help the people, homes, and animals, recover from the crisis. A list of where you can donate is below.
If you are in Australia, it is best to donate directly to each charity. Donations over $2 to registered charities are tax deductible.
WIRES (Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service) - helping wildlife affected by the fire
Red Cross Australia - Disaster Relief
Donating Your Time
While monetary donations are the most direct way to help, there are other ways you can help by donating your time.
Hold an old-fashioned fundraiser - whether it be in your local community, or in your circles. The proceeds can be donated to some of the charities above.
If you can knit or sew - the Animal Rescue Collective Craft Guild is calling for donations of animal rescue pouches. You can find out how to do help here.
If you can't donate money, perhaps you have unused food cans, water, and other food items that you can donate to Foodbank.
Volunteering to help these organisations sort out donations, fight the fires directly, and helping behind the scenes is a great way to donate your time towards bushfire relief.
If you live near a Red Cross Donation Centre, you can also give blood.
Leave out bowls of water for animals as the smoke levels rising can affect all animals, not just those surrounding affected areas.
If you have clothes or household items you no longer use - sell it on Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace and donate the proceeds towards the above charities.
Participate in climate change protests near you. Find out where & when here.
The Long Term
The best way to help communities recover is to spend time, money, and future efforts towards those communities. Plan a trip to a fire-affected community, get a tank of fuel, spend a night at the local hotel, buy a meal, to help these communities recover in the long run.
Can't travel? You can still help by buying from these businesses online. This Instagram page helps you buy and support directly from those communities affected.
Don't have the funds or capacity? You can help to actively address the climate change issues in your own lifestyle. Here's a few ideas:
- Go zero waste
- Buy only second hand
- Start composting
- Walk more & take public transport
- Reducing your waste - follow the 5 R's: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot.
Switch your super fund. Many super funds invest in fossil fuels (Australian super is a trillion dollar industry), so switching to ethical super funds can really help towards a better future. Switch your bank to one that is ethical, e.g. Bank Australia. Switch your energy provider to one that is renewable, e.g. Powershop.
Look after yourself
In times of crises, it may be hard to feel hopeful, and mental health can be a daily struggle. Take your time away from social media, and focus on things that you can do to be present and grateful. Spend time with your loved ones. Know that climate anxiety is real, and it is perfectly normal to feel anxious when faced with climate change disasters.
The below resource can help with dealing with stress and how to take care of yourself and your family in a crisis.