GIVING TO BUSHFIRE APPEALS

It’s been an horrendous start to the new year in Australia, with millions of hectares burnt, flora and fauna devastated, homes, businesses and communities destroyed, and lives lost.

We have been devastated to witness the direct impact of the fires on so many Australians, including APS clients who have lost properties, or those who are deeply engaged in the fire-fighting effort.

It’s easy to feel helpless given the scale of the disaster.

But if you have the capacity to respond, money is what charities need most right now.  As well as delivering emergency relief in the short-term, charities need funding for long-term support services to help people, communities and the natural environment recover in the years to come.

Following is a list of DGR Item 1 charities that we shared with PAFs and APS Foundation giving fund holders.

Nationwide

These national charities are providing frontline emergency assistance right now, and long-term recovery support, across multiple states and territories:

  1. Australian Red Cross Society ABN 50 169 561 394 is accepting donations through its Disaster Relief Fund, which helps those affected by bushfires, heat, floods, cyclones and other national emergencies. As of 6 January, ARC is providing direct emergency assistance to bushfire victims.
  • The Salvation Army (NSW) Social Work ABN 46 891 896 885 is conducting an emergency and disaster appeal which provides material support, such as meals, clothing and accommodation support, to evacuees and frontline responders around the country.
  • Food Bank Australia ABN 58 073 579 254 is the only Australian organisation that provides direct food relief in the wake of natural disasters. Donations to their bushfire appeal go towards providing essential supplies to support emergency workers and affected communities during recovery works.
  • The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (ABN 27 091 810 589) is focusing on long-term recovery support via their perpetual Disaster Resilience and Recovery Fund, which supports national disaster preparedness and recovery by enabling local leaders to access funds for emerging needs that they have identified as most important for their community.
  • Save the Children ABN 99 008 610 035 has launched a bushfire appeal to establish child-friendly spaces in communities affected by bushfires, including Wagga Wagga and Bairnsdale, where qualified early childhood specialists support children while their families receive referrals to other services.

New South Wales & the Australian Capital Territory

  1. St Vincent de Paul National Society of Australia ABN 50 748 098 845 is raising funds through its bushfire appeal, in conjunction with Channel Nine, to support victims of the fires around NSW.

Australian comedian Celeste Barber’s Facebook donation page has raised a phenomenal $45 million (and climbing) for the NSW Rural Fire Service. If you have a PAF or giving fund, please give directly to the Rural Fire Service, as donations on Celeste Barber’s page are being collected via a DGR Item 2 fund.

Victoria

  1. Victorian Bushfire Appeal. To make an eligible donation in support of the Victorian government-backed bushfire appeal, being conducted in partnership with the Bendigo Bank Community Enterprise Foundation, PAFs and giving (sub) funds can do so via the Salvation Army ABN 18 730 899 453 which is also a partner in the appeal. If you have a PAF or giving fund, you cannot give to the bushfire appeal directly as Community Enterprise Foundation is a DGR Item 2.
  • The Country Fire Authority ABN 29 419 704 198 operates a Donation Fund that allows you to specify the local brigade in Victoria that you would like to support.

Queensland

  1. The Rural Fire Brigades Associate of QLD ABN 37 417 474 709 operates a Public Fund which supports rural fire brigades and volunteers.
  • Lifeline Queensland operated by UnitingCare Community ABN 28 728 322 186 is running a disaster appeal supporting provision of psychological first aid to communities impacted by disaster.

South Australia

  1. The South Australian Country Fire Service ABN 91 442 189 358 operates the CFS Foundation Volunteer Support Fund which supports voluntary rural fire brigades.

Our ravaged environment

If you would like to support injured and affected wildlife and landscapes:

  1. Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife ABN 90 107 744 771 is conducting an emergency appeal that will provide targeted funding for first aid and rescue equipment for injured animals, as well as providing support for wildlife carers across Australia.
  • Worldwide Fund for Nature Australia ABN 57 001 594 074 has a bushfire appeal that aims to save injured wildlife and recover lost landscapes in critical koala habitat.
  • NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) ABN 30 768 872 928 is coordinating an emergency response appeal to rescue injured wildlife through its Public Gift Fund. Donations are encouraged via telephone (02) 8977 3396 or email support@wires.org.au. The WIRES Facebook campaign has experienced some issues due to the overwhelming response.

More than money

buyfromthebush
For those who use Facebook, consider supporting affected communities buy subscribing to this platform which showcases small business gems across rural and regional Australia. You can buy produce/gifts that help support small livelihoods in communities facing fire and drought.

Accommodation initiatives 

Find a Bed has been developed to offer beds or homes to evacuees. In East Gippsland, any offers of emergency accommodation can be made by emailing the local council.

Airbnb has established the Open Homes initiative, where hosts can offer free accommodation to affected people as well as rescue workers. 

Give Blood

Australian Red Cross Blood Service is calling on Australians to consider donating blood in response to the ongoing bushfire crisis.

Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by this national disaster.