Over the last several weeks and months, Australia has been on fire. From coast to coast much of the continent is affected in some way by bushfires–raging wildfires that are reaching towns and cities, devouring homes, businesses, and sensitive wildlife habitat, all made worse by climate change. Fires have been raging outside every major city. Smoke has made the air quality in parts of Australia the worst in the world, creating a public health crisis, and several species of native animals are now threatened with extinction, as half a billion animals have been affected already. It’s so bad that the fires are now accelerating the current climate emergency. It’s truly devastating.
To give you a sense of scale, Australia is about the same size as the United States.
It’s unreal. So much destruction can feel really overwhelming, but we are here to tell you that there are ways you can help. Right now! Today! There are so many amazing people and organizations working very hard to help the people and animals affected by the fires. Here are a few ways you can help.*
1) Fundraise and/or donate to local fire service organizations, who are on the front lines
New South Wales Rural Fire Service
Country Fire Service Foundation in South Australia
Country Fire Association, serving Victoria and surrounding areas
Rural Fire Brigade Association in Queensland
2) Fundraise and/or donate to relief organizations who are helping people and animals displaced and injured by fires
Australian Red Cross
St. Vincent de Paul Society
WIRES Emergency Fund for Wildlife (Facebook fundraiser)
3) Make craft projects that help rehabilitate injured animals
If you want a hands-on project to do with older kids and have access to a good sewing machine, there are several craft projects you can do to directly help rescue efforts for animals affected by the fires.
From sewing pouches for rescued joeys (baby kangaroos), to making wraps for injured bats, to crocheting nests, the Animal Rescue Collective Craft Guild has a number of ways you can help, and information on where to send your completed projects. Be sure to check their FAQ and only use approved materials and patterns.
If you can’t make these items yourself, you can also donate money for supplies here.
4) Fight climate change, every day
These fires are particularly intense because we are undergoing a climate emergency. We must demand our governments take immediate action to stop climate change, and in the meantime, there are things we can do every day to help save the planet. Check out the Give Back App (for iPhone or Android) or our activity finder on the web and select the cause “Save the Planet” to find ways your family can do your part.
* Please note: These suggestions are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement or fundraising appeal for any specific organization. We encourage readers to do their own research on any organization before making a donation.