It’s been a truly devastating start to the year, with so many people affected by the unprecedented ferocity and scale of the bushfires.
Our hearts go out to the countless communities across Australia who have been, and continue to be, directly affected by the fires. Many are volunteers at local radio stations who provide an invaluable, and often essential service for their local communities.
Since New Year’s Eve hundreds of charities, community organisations and many generous individuals have come together to help people rebuild their lives and provide care and shelter to animals.
But with so many options, it can be hard to know how to help.
Here at the CBF we’ve been reaching out to stations in fire-affected communities to make sure they’re aware of the emergency support we can provide through our Quick Response Grants.
We’ve also put together a short list of different ways you can offer direct and practical support to affected communities, right now and in the longer term as people recover from the impact of the fires.
Give Now is a platform that only allows verified not-for-profits and charities with an ABN, authority to fundraise, and a bank account in the name of the organisation to use the service.
Give now has also published a great list of organisations seeking support for bushfire-related causes on the platform.
Foodbank is preparing and delivering food to people in bushfire and drought-affected areas, including volunteer firefighters. While their preference is for funds, Foodbank still welcomes donations of non-perishable food and essential groceries. A list of items that are in high demand is available on their website.
It’s My Shout
It’s My Shout was set up to support the fire-ravaged East Gippsland area. The platform allows people from anywhere to keep tourist towns alive through virtual spending. Buy a coffee or a beer for a local, book some virtual accommodation, or purchase products. You can also choose to support a particular town in the region.
Spend with them
Spend with them Instagram account was started by two locals on the NSW south coast to encourage people to buy direct from businesses in fire-affected areas. Businesses include everything from clothing labels, surf shops, farms, wineries, distilleries and more.
Buy From the Bush
Buy from the Bush is another initiative that encourages city customers to support to communities affected by drought and bushfires by buying their products. Their website, Instagram and Facebook pages showcase the beautiful things that people make and sell in rural areas.
Support for community radio stations
Southern Community Media Association has set up a Community Radio Fire Disaster Support Facebook page where broadcasters can offer fire-affected stations help with equipment loans or technical assistance.
Donating money to charities
Australian Philanthropic Services have created an extensive list of national and state-based charities with DGR (deductible gift recipient) status that are providing frontline assistance now, as well as long-term recovery support.
Image: courtesy of Geoscience Australia