Since Australia's bushfire season began in July 2019, the country has been ravaged by fires that have devastated nearly 18 million acres of land, destroyed thousands of homes, and killed an estimated 1 billion animals. Fortunately, there are ways you can help. From local firefighting units to hospitals specializing in koala care, there are dozens of organizations in dire need of donations. Here are just a few of them.
1. New South Wales Rural Fire Service
The government-run New South Wales Rural Fire Service (NSW), which was founded more than 100 years ago, is the world's largest volunteer fire service. In addition to donating directly to the NSW, the organization is also hosting individual online fundraisers to support the families of Samuel McPaul, Geoffrey Keaton, and Andrew O’Dwyer, three volunteer firefighters who recently lost their lives while on duty.
2. Country Fire Service
Since 2002, the Country Fire Service has been providing financial support to volunteer firefighters who have been injured or killed in the line of duty. The organization is accepting donations.
3. Victorian Bushfire Appeal
The Victorian Bushfire Appeal is a joint organization formed by the Victorian government, Bendigo Bank, and the Salvation Army to provide financial assistance to local communities that have been affected by the bushfires. You can donate online or at any Bendigo Bank branch.
4. St. Vincent de Paul Society
The St. Vincent de Paul Society, which is comprised of 60,000 members nationwide, works on the ground to serve underprivileged Australian citizens and fight against social inequality. Through its Vinnies Bush Appeal, the organization is accepting donations to help with fire relief by providing food, clothing, bill assistance, and emotional support to victims.
5. The Rescue Collective
The Rescue Collective is a Brisbane-based animal rescue and wildlife organization that operates on Australia's East Coast. You can visit their Facebook page to see the various items they are in need of to care for their animals, or make a monetary donation to their current campaign here.
6. Find a Bed
People and animals in need of a place to stay can plug their location and accommodation requirements into Find a Bed to be matched with a host. More importantly, you can list your own property as a safe haven for evacuees and their pets.
7. Zoos Victoria
In addition to operating three zoos, Zoos Victoria is animal conservation organization committed to fighting animal extinction. They're currently accepting donations through their Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund, which provides emergency veterinary care and is exploring alternative food methods for animals whose habitats have been destroyed.
8. The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital
Fires have wreaked havoc on the koala population; you can help by donating to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital. According to their GoFundMe page, more than 30 koalas have been brought to the hospital so far, where they've been treated for burns and dehydration.
9. World Wildlife Fund
The World Wildlife Fund is another way to help Australia's struggling koala population. According to the group's website, a $15 donation can provide bandages and medicine to a koala while $20 can help release an animal back into the wild and $30 can help plant a tree in threatened habitats.
The RSPCA of New South Wales is working to keep evacuees' pets and livestock safe. Your donations will help them keep their rescue crews out in the field.
WIRES is committed to rehabilitating and preserving Australia's wildlife. Donations will go toward rescuing and caring for all different kinds of injured animals. According to the organization's website, WIRES received more than 20,000 calls and sent volunteers to more than 3300 rescues in December alone.
Givit allows you to donate money or in-demand items to families and individuals in need.