This holiday season (summer) in here in Australia has been one of catastrophic devastation with so much of Australia’s bushland on fire… and these are the areas that are populated by both people and our unique native wildlife. This season’s bushfires in Australia have killed at least 28 people and destroyed more than 2000 homes and over a billion animals, with the total area burned standing at more than 13 million hectares. This is an area similar in size to England, larger than Iceland, South Korea or the US state of Louisiana.
If you have the capacity, I’d really appreciate you donating to the firefighters, affected communities, humanitarian charities or wildlife organisations. Some suggestions are below….
NSW Rural Fire Service
VIC Country Fire Authority
I live in Melbourne, which has been relatively untouched so far, most days we are covered in a shroud of smoke haze (it looks more like a thick winter fog except the sun glows red through the haze from the ash particles). I watch the news and cry for all those who have lost so much and the devastation this is causing my country. But tears don’t solve problems. Local businesses are struggling as the tourist dollars that normally come at this time of year have completely dried up. Buying from local business and thinking about what you can do in a global manner have never been more important as we see the catastrophic results of our centuries of poor choices playing out in our landscape.
True to our Australian way – the population has pulled together and some fabulous initiatives have sprung up here to help out along with the charities listed above. Here are a couple I wanted to share with you:
It’s My Shout is a website that helps local Gippsland (Victorian) businesses as you can buy a coffee and donate it to a local. Browse the fascinating local boutiques and find a local treasure to virtually buy, or even buy a virtual bed that is empty as holidaymakers stay away from the fire areas. You don’t have to be there to help out!
Spend with Them is an Instagram account that links you with local businesses affected by the fires – where you can buy online from them and help them save their businesses. From a new dog collar to a divine piece of Australian art or craft, clothes, food, drinks …. so many small local businesses are struggling this summer and it’s a wonderful way for you to find them and help!