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How to lend a hand

As Australia’s horrific bushfire crisis continues, many of us are left feeling helpless. Here’s what you can do to support those in need. Words: Rachael Tickner.

With fires still raging around the country, many Sunshine Coast residents are seeking ways to help those in need. And there is no doubt that help is needed. According to the Australian Red Cross, sadly, millions of hectares of land has been burnt and it is estimated that close to 500 million animals have been killed in the blaze.

A Queensland Fire and Emergency Services spokesperson (QFES), says, “It’s been a long and challenging bushfire season across Queensland and for our neighbours interstate who are continuing to battle very difficult conditions. Queenslanders are known for their resilience and generosity in tough times and those wishing to support affected communities are encouraged to donate to the Australian Red Cross, The Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland, Lifeline Queensland, RSPCA or GIVIT.

“People can stay up-to-date with the latest on the bushfires by following QFES on social media, visiting the QFES website and tuning in to local radio.”

Donations are still needed as the bushfires crisis continues.

Nationwide, Woolworths has partnered with The Salvation Army Disaster Appeal, which will support communities affected by the devastating bushfires across Australia.

Salvation Army spokesperson, Major Bruce Harmer, says, “The Salvos have deployed relief teams to provide food and water, along with emotional and practical support, to emergency services personnel and displaced people as they arrive at evacuation centres.”

Red Cross Queensland state director Garry Page says the organisation has also been overwhelmed by the generosity of Australians.

“Every donation, big or small, is welcome and will go to help our teams give people the support they need.

“The Red Cross ABC NYE donation drive made $8 million. People can continue to donate to our Disaster Relief and Recovery fund.”

 

Here’s how you can help

As of Monday, 136 bushfires were burning across Australia, with 69 still uncontained. Almost 1500 homes have been destroyed, countless wildlife lost and many lives devastated. There are a number of ways people can show their support:

The Salvation Army Disaster Appeal, visit salvationarmy.org.au, call 13 72 58, or donate at any Woolworths checkout.

People can also support the Australian Red Cross Disaster and Recovery Relief Fund, by visiting redcross.org.au, or calling 1800 733 276.

To support the Victorian firefighters, visit vic.gov.au/bushfireappeal.

Support for Australia’s wildlife is also needed. You can donate to the NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES), wires.org.au/donate/emergency-fund.

Donate directly to the NSW Rural Fire Service to help volunteer firefighters on the frontline, rfs.nsw.gov.au/about-us/fundraising. Australian comedian Celeste Barber launched a Facebook fundraiser last week and as of Monday it had amassed a whopping $34 million. AAP reports that on Sunday, she announced the funds donated by more than 600,000 people would be shared with fire services in other states, the Red Cross, families of deceased and wildlife carers. “I’m hearing you,” she told her 6.5 million followers. Follow her on social media for links.

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