Australia is currently suffering through one of our worst bushfire seasons on record and there are a lot of people and animals out there that need our help now, and will continue to need our support in the coming months when it comes time to rebuild.
If you can, the easiest and best way to help those affected by bushfires is to donate funds to the organisations and charities that are on the ground and providing emergency relief and recovery support.
Below is a list of groups you can donate to, as compiled by independent not-for-profit Australian Philanthropic Services.
- Australian Red Cross Society is accepting donations through its Disaster Relief Fund, which helps those affected by bushfires, heat, floods, cyclones and other national emergencies. As of 6 January, ARC is providing direct emergency assistance to bushfire victims.
- The Salvation Army Eastern Territory is conducting an emergency and disaster appeal which provides material support, such as meals, clothing and accommodation support, to evacuees and frontline responders around the country
- Food Bank Australia is the only Australian organisation that provides direct food relief in the wake of natural disasters. Donations to their bushfire appeal go towards providing essential supplies to support emergency workers and affected communities during recovery works.
- Givit is collecting donations for the purchase of new household items as well as coordinating public donations of goods-in-kind (including clothing, furniture, whitegoods) across Australia
- The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal is focusing on long-term recovery support via their perpetual Disaster Resilience and Recovery Fund, which supports national disaster preparedness and recovery by enabling local leaders to access funds for emerging needs that they have identified as most important for their community.
- Save the Children has launched a bushfire appeal to establish child-friendly spaces in communities affected by bushfires, including Wagga Wagga and Bairnsdale, where qualified early childhood specialists support children while their families receive referrals to other services.
New South Wales & the Australian Capital Territory
- St Vincent de Paul National Society of Australia’s bushfire appeal.
- The NSW Rural Fire Service and Brigades’s Donation’s Fund.
- Victorian Bushfire Appeal.
- The Country Fire Authority’s Donation Fund (you can specify the local brigade you would like to support).
- Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund.
Those who would like to help out the injured and affected animals can do so through organisations such as Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife, Worldwide Fund for Nature Australia, Wildlife Victoria, NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service or the RSPCA NSW.
There are other organisations and appeals out there that are also offering support to bushfire affected communities. If you’re worried about an organisation being a scam you can verify whether they are registered as a charity on the Australia Charities and Not-for-profits Commission’s website.
If you want to do more than donate, other ways you may like to help include donating blood, offering accommodation, raising awareness or by supporting affected businesses.
Thank you to all of those who have offered their help and support in any way they can, it all adds up to make a massive difference.