January 9th, 2020

Australia Wildfires: How to Help

As a global company with operations around the world, we feel a deep sense of connection to everyone on this planet – and as citizens of the world, we all need to rally together to do whatever we can to help Australia as they cope with unprecedented wildfires which have scorched millions of acres. The staggering loss of animal life makes this tragedy even more unsettling and have left many wondering what we can do to help the people and animals affected by these terrible fires. 

Watching the tragic wildfires in Australia has left many UnFranchise Owners wondering how we can help lessen the impact of this terrible scenario unfolding down under. While events of this scale remind us of the delicate balance between humanity and the ecosystems of this precious planet, they also remind us we have the ability to make a positive impact and a difference for those in need by rallying together. 

My heart goes out to all the people and animals affected by the historic wildfires in Australia, and while many search for answers to help explain how this tragedy unfolded, I find it more constructive to highlight the different ways people can help out. I’ve included below a comprehensive list of different agencies and NPOs which are leading the efforts to help Australia endure and overcome this terrible ecological tragedy. 

Be sure to share this list with your friends to help us spread the word and make an even bigger impact for those in need! Let’s show the world what people power is all about!!!

Keep Growing!
-JR Ridinger 

Australia Wildfires – How You Can Help:

Support local Australian firefighting services…Donate money to firefighters who are on the front lines of this disaster. An overwhelming number of Australia’s thousands of firefighters are unpaid volunteers, and some have been working shifts of 12 hours or longer to battle the flames. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said that no fire chiefs have raised the issue of compensation with him. But you can donate to Country Fire Authority (CFA) in Victoria and the NSW Rural Fire Service in New South Wales. You can also give to local firefighting brigades through the NSW Rural Fire Service’s link. 

Donate exact household items that Australian charities are requesting…Through the Australian nonprofit GIVIT, you can scroll through a list of specific items needed by charities. The ones highlighted in orange are for recipients affected by the bushfires. Requests include clothing vouchers, chicken coops and refrigerators. To “give” an item, simply submit a photo of the object and fill out your personal contact information on a form like this one. You can also donate money to GIVIT.

Where can I donate to help Australia?

  • Fire departments: In both Victoria and New South Wales, two of the states hardest hit by the blazes, you can donate directly to the state fire authority or to a local fire brigade, many of which are volunteer based. For fire departments in Victoria, donate at cfa.vic.gov.au. For departments in New South Wales, donate on the government’s website.
  • The New South Wales Rural Fire Service has also set up bank accounts to collect donations for the families of volunteer firefighters who have been killed while on duty. Donate at rfs.nsw.gov.au.
  • Victorian Government: The Victorian Government, in partnership with Bendigo Bank and The Salvation Army, has established a fund for affected families and communities. According to the government’s website, an advisory panel will recommend where funds are distributed. More at vic.gov.au/bushfireappeal.
  • Australian Red Cross: Since July, the Australian Red Cross has assisted more than 18,600 people affected by the fires, according to its website. The organization says that it is currently supporting thousands of people in evacuation centers and recovery hubs. Learn more about where your money goes and donate at redcross.org.au. The American Red Cross is also accepting donations for bushfire relief efforts. More at redcross.org.
  • First Nations Communities: Musician and community rights advocate Neil Morris, a Yorta Yorta man, has created a GoFundMe page to provide “culturally sensitive, specific direct support” to First Nations Communities displaced by the fires. Donations – which have reached nearly $600,000 – fund temporary relocation costs, basic amenities, resettling expenses and more. Learn more at au.gofundme.com.
  • Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal: This Australian nonprofit is raising funds to distribute as grants to rural and regional communities for disaster recovery projects. The grants could be used to repair community infrastructure, provide psychological support to those affected and more. Donate frrr.org.au.
  • GIVIT: Australian nonprofit GIVIT is collecting donation items requested by people affected by the fires. Items range from dog food to fencing materials. Read about what’s needed and donate at givit.org.au/disasters.
  • Housing: If you live in Australia, you can offer up your home as emergency housing for people displaced by the bushfires. Learn more at cfa.vic.gov.au.

How can I help animals in Australia? 

  • WIRES: The New South Wales-based Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc., Australia’s largest wildlife rescue organization, is accepting donations to fund the rescue and care of animals affected by the fires. All animal rescuers are volunteers. Learn more at wires.org.au.
  • Koala Hospital Port Macquarie: This koala hospital in New South Wales is accepting donations to fund the rescue, treatment and release of koalas, as well as research and education about koalas. Donate at koalahospital.org.au/shop/donation.
  • Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital: Bindi Irwin, the daughter of famed wildlife conservationist and “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin, has been taking in many displaced animals at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, which is owned by her mother, Terri. The Queensland hospital is “busier than ever,” Irwin said in an Instagram post. The zoo’s Wildlife Warriors program has raised more than $400,000 for new enclosures to house flying foxes and koalas injured or displaced by fires. Donate at azwh.blackbaud-sites.com.
  • Wildlife Victoria: A nonprofit that provides wildlife emergency response services, Wildlife Victoria is accepting donations to distribute to wildlife shelters to help rebuild enclosures and equipment, the organization says on its website. Donate at wildlifevictoria.org.au.
  • RSPCA Australia: The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Australia, the nation’s leading animal welfare charity, is accepting donations to fund the rescue and treatment of animals affected by the fires. RSPCA chapters in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia are accepting donations.
  • Zoos Victoria:  A nonprofit conservation organization of three zoos in this Australian state, Zoos Victoria is collecting donations to fund emergency veterinary assistance and scientific intervention for affected animals. Learn more at donate.zoo.org.au/donation.
  • Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park: This wildlife park in South Australia is raising money for koala veterinary costs, koala milk and supplements, and extra holding and rehabilitation enclosures. The park has also taken in kangaroos, wallabies, an eagle and a possum. A GoFundMe page organized by park owner Dana Mitchell has raised more than $800,000. Donate here.
  • World Wildlife Fund Australia: This chapter of the international wildlife conservation organization is accepting donations to care for injured wildlife and, when the fires clear, to plant 10,000 native trees in critical koala habitat, including in “koala triangle,” the heartland of Australia’s healthiest wild koala populations. Donate at donate.wwf.org.au.
  • Animal Rescue Craft Guild: This volunteer-run group with participants worldwide is knitting and crocheting protective pouches and blankets for animals displaced by the fires. One organizer told Reuters that the group has supplied thousands of rescue groups around the country. Check out the group’s Facebook page.
  • Australian Koala Foundation: This foundation allows you to adopt a koala through a symbolic foster program; your monthly fee funds protection efforts for wild koalas. You can also pay to “plant a tree” to help restore koala habitat. The foundation is also asking that Koala lovers to write letters to politicians in support of the Koala Protection Act.

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