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The Best Way to Donate to the Australian Bushfire Victims

The Most Effective Ways to Donate to the Australian Bushfire Crisis

This picture taken on December 31, 2019 shows firefighters struggling against the strong wind in an effort to secure nearby houses from bushfires near the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales. (Photo by SAEED KHAN / AFP) (Photo by SAEED KHAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Additional reporting by Ange Law

Australia continues to battle through the relentless bushfires consuming the states of New South Wales (NSW), Victoria, and South Australia, and it's left us all desperate to help. The widespread damage has sparked an incredible response online, and if you've been wondering how you can contribute to the bushfire appeal — and are struggling to sift through the many incredible causes — we're here to help.

Leaning heavily on the tried and tested tradition of helping out those in need, the donation drive has been the only silver lining as Australia rallies around the communities affected. But the support hasn't only been felt locally, with international donations pouring in.

A Facebook fundraiser set up by Australian comedian Celeste Barber has raised more than £23 million (which translates to roughly 44 million Australian dollars) in a few days while simultaneously catapulting the bushfire crisis into the international news cycle. Other famous faces — including Chris Hemsworth, Pink, Nicole Kidman, Selena Gomez, and Flume — have committed sizeable donations as the bushfires continue to dominate international news.

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The social media coverage of the fires has seen a rising feeling of helplessness, both locally and abroad, inspiring many people in Australia to donate food, clothes, and supplies to emergency centres around the country.

However, on Sunday evening, Victorian State Premier Daniel Andrews made a direct appeal to those desperate to help, asking them to cease donating supplies and instead shift their focus to raising funds for the families. "I don't want to appear harsh in any way, but we don't need any more clothes, food, trucks on our roads, we don't have the warehouse capacity, the people, or the time to sort through [the donations]," said Mr Andrews.

"We are very grateful but it's really important that those donations stop because they are diverting resources away from firefighting and providing support to those who are in real need. What we do need though, and what those families need most, is monetary donations. That way, money can be given to the families and they can make decisions that are much more flexible and local."

A similar statement was made by NSW RFS South Coast division on Sunday — one of the hardest-hit areas — after reaching capacity for donated food and goods.

With many parts of the country affected, as well as the crippling loss of life, land, and wildlife, it's hard to know how, where, and what to give.

Click on the links below to learn how you can lend a hand and help those affected by the Australian bushfires, from those fighting the fires to people who have been displaced and the suffering wildlife:

People

  • The Salvation Army Bushfire Relief Appeal, providing meals and material aid to firefighters and communities in evacuation and relief centres: salvos.org.au
  • Fire Relief Fund For First Nations Communities, providing culturally sensitive and specific, direct support and critical financial support to affected First Nations peoples and communities: www.gofundme.com
  • Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery, assisting with evacuations, immediate monetary help, and providing long-term support to those affected by the fires: redcross.org.au
  • St Vincent de Paul Society NSW Bushfire Appeal, helping people to deal with the immediate aftermath of the fires and long-term support: vinnies.org.au

State-Based Rural Fire Services

Wildlife

  • WIRES, rescuing and caring for sick, injured, and orphaned native wildlife in NSW: wires.org.au
  • Wildlife Victoria, rescuing and caring for sick, injured, and orphaned native wildlife in Victoria: wildlifevictoria.org.au/
  • WWF, caring for injured animals and helping to restore forests when the bushfires clear: wwf.org.au
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