By now, most of us have returned from summer break and enjoying Christmas and ringing in 2020 with the ones we love – but there are thousands of Australians who haven’t caught a break in months, and others who spent their holidays on the frontline fighting the Australian bushfires.
If you’re unaware of the climate crisis currently affecting Australia, devastating bushfires have been burning relentlessly for months, destroying millions of hectares of land, thousands of buildings and homes and killing 25 people as of January 2020.
After the government inadequately prepared the country and actively pulled funding that could have prevented the losses we’re currently experiencing, it’s safe to say, we’re all feeling pretty overwhelmed and powerless right now.
The GOAT team unpacked the bushfire crisis and all the ways you can help in today’s episode of It’s Been A Big Day For…
But it’s not all bad news – there are countless legends both here and overseas who are actively using their platforms to donate, encourage positive change and share information on how to support bushfire relief.
In Australia, Will ‘Eggboy’ Connolly and Magda Szubanski have teamed up on a GoFundMe campaign to provide ongoing mental health support to bushfire victims, Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman have donated $500,000 to the RFS, Flume gave $100,000 to WIRES and explained how to support bushfire relief, and Margot Robbie posted an IGTV video encouraging her followers to donate.
While the bushfire crisis only recently made international headlines, Australia’s friends and fans from across the pond have been incredibly generous. Miley Cyrus has donated $3M to multiple bushfire relief foundations and hired two planes housing 60,000 litres of water. Hilary Duff and her husband have shared links to donate and are planning to donate themselves, YouTubers, Twitch gamers and artists including Selena Gomez, Camila Cabello and Charli XCX have all posted links to donate and help the cause.
Online sex worker and model Kaylen Ward AKA The Naked Philanthropist sold nude photos in exchange for donations to various bushfire relief foundations and got herself banned from Instagram in the process.
While these influencers have inspired us with their generosity, not everyone has the means to donate their money. The good news is, there are plenty of other ways you can support bushfire relief and the people working so hard to keep Australia safe.
Donate your time by volunteering for the RFS, clothing to Red Cross retail stores, fuel, grocery vouchers, fencing and water tanks to charities like Givit or non-perishable goods, pet food and toiletries to Gippsland Farmer Relief and Foodbank Victoria. If you’re the crafty kind, why not help create a knitted pouch for rescued animals via the Animal Rescue Craft Guild?
Donating to these funds is not the only way to help. You can support affected communities, people who have lost their homes in the fires – we have more power when we rally together.
Spend With Them: Small businesses affected by the fires.
It’s My Shout: Virtually buying services for firefighters and residents.
WIRES: Emergency animal rescue.
WWF: Adopt a Koala.
AirBnb Open Homes: List your home or a room for free to help displaced residents.
Blaze Aid: Helping communities rebuild after the fires.
Support The Firefighter Families: directly helping families affected.
Another way to help that doesn’t involve spending money is by simply following the fire bans and spreading the word. Don’t light any open fires or carry out any activities in the open that are likely to cause a fire, and keep sharing relevant and accurate links to bushfire relief campaigns.
Most importantly, look after yourself. If you feel as though your mental health is suffering, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 for support.