How to Help Victims of the Australian Bushfires

Since the bushfires began in September

Australia has always experienced bushfires but not on this scale. As climate scientist Michael Mann explained in The Guardian earlier this week:

The brown skies I observed in the Blue Mountains this week are a product of human-caused climate change. Take record heat, combine it with unprecedented drought in already dry regions and you get unprecedented bushfires like the ones engulfing the Blue Mountains and spreading across the continent. It’s not complicated.

How to help evacuees

The following organizations accept online donations.

How to help volunteer firefighters

Volunteer firefighters have been battling these blazes without pay.

How to help animals

Many animals had already been struggling from food and water shortages caused by a protracted drought.

People helping each other

The sign reads “Evacuees can use water tap on right side of house, knock for food or shower, tent sites or dog minding or help in general. ❤”

18 Replies to “How to Help Victims of the Australian Bushfires”

  1. Thank you so much for posting about this. This is my home country and I’m devastated at what’s happening, and I’m also heartened by the compassion of people from across the world. Some more donation links are below, but here are a few more things you might want to be aware of and/or add to your post:

    * If you can’t donate, raise a ruckus on social media. The Australian government is very sensitive to criticism from other countries. The Prime Minister is Scott Morrison and people can leave messages on Twitter and Facebook, and on social media belonging to the state governments of NSW and Queensland.

    * Salvation Army is VERY anti-LGBTQ. (I’ve heard St Vincent’s is as well, but don’t have any independent verification for that right now.) This means that members of the LGBTQ community will want to be careful in reaching out to these organisations as they can have and denied help to this community in the past. Please note I’m not saying to never contact these orgs if people don’t have a choice. Just be aware, that’s all.

    * In contrast, the Australia Red Cross is amazing. I highly recommend donating to them if people aren’t sure where to give their money. They do excellent work and support everyone.

    * Bushfires actually aren’t normal for Australia. Indigenous people managed the land for thousands of years and prevented large scare fires. It’s only in the last few centuries that fires have increased, and climate change has made them worse. Land that is currently under native title (control of the indigenous peoples) is experiencing NO fires at all – if they do have fires, they are very small and manageable. Indigenous activists and scientists have been warning of this for decades, but well, you can see how little attention was paid to them.

    * The NSW fire service is mostly made up of VOLUNTEERS. That’s right, these people have been fighting for months and don’t get paid. They are denied welfare benefits because, according to the government, they’re not looking for a job. The PM told them they didn’t deserve to be paid because they were choosing to be there. I just want people to know that these people are risking their lives because they care about their country, they care about people and animals, and they are not going to see a single cent.

    Here are some more donation links and thank you again for posting about this. We all live on this planet together and we need to work together to create a better world now. No more war, no more environmental devastation, no more displacement of people and animals. We can do it if we work together and see everyone, regardless of colour or gender or ethnicity or ability, as a human being, first and foremost.

    Australian Wildlife Sanctuary Fund:

    Bargo Dingo Sanctuary:

    Queensland Fire and Emergency Services:

    South Australia – State Emergency Relief Fund: and the direction donation link is here:

    Port Macquarie Koala Hospital:

    FAWNA (For Australian Wildlife Needing Aid):

    The Rescue Collective:

    1. Thank you for these additional links and suggestions. I was blown away when I learned that the firefighters are volunteers, taking time away from paid work to risk their lives fight these fires :O So selfless! That gets me every time I see pictures of them battling these blazes. What heroes <3

    1. Thank you for the addition Zee 🙂
      ~ Anne Marie

      1. Thank you for caring about my country! I actually left another comment with more links, but maybe it was too long and got caught in the spam filter. Let me know if I should repost. Many thanks again – I hope this preventable disaster will result in actual, sustainable, permanent change and improvements to our world.

      2. Thank you Zee! I didn’t see it. WordPress flagged it so I had to find it and approve it. It’s now up. Thank you for all of the additional resources.

  2. Just want you to know I used this article to donate to WIRES. Thank you for pointing the way. ❤️

    1. Thank you Stacy! I’m glad my post has been of use 🙂
      ~ Anne Marie

  3. Anne Marie, I burst into tears when I read this! We have lived with fires near us for many months, our garden is mostly dead, we are on tough water restrictions and it has just been bleak. Pollution readings in our area have been up to nearly 700! This is dangerously high, and most days are still regarded as hazardous. So, other than a few days, we have been unable to open windows, sit outside, hang washing outside and it is even recommended not to exercise inside to avoid breathing too much! Ironically, I sometimes use the car for errands because it is just too unhealthy to walk.

    Thankfully we haven’t had to evacuate (we are in the country, so near bushland). Honestly the hardest part is just knowing the ramifications for the future, our health and our children’s future. As you’ve probably seen, our government still thinks’ coal is the future’. The mental impact of living with that is huge, but I think the tide is now turning as the anger of the community is growing and previous climate change deniers are changing their thoughts now. To know that someone cares on the other side of the world was very encouraging. I just hope more of us realise that it takes more than ‘the government’ to change things, our individual actions matter now more than ever. We need to stop shopping, driving 4 WDs and living like there’s no tomorrow. I have already mentioned to local council that we need a massive tree planting effort as soon as we get a bit more rain and cooler weather. They are doing this very successfully in places like China and Africa now.

    We had a bit of rain over Christmas and now have some water in our tanks so I’ve planted a bit of a vegetable garden again – we built a shade structure with 50% shade cloth over it and it really is helping to retain moisture and stop the plants burning. Due to our high altitude and the hole in the ozone layer over us the sun is scorching hot even if it is only 90 F. I have also built a small Hugelkulture bed in the dappled shade of the orchard and the pumpkins I planted are thriving. It is time to learn new ways of doing things and adapt. Of course we save grey water and try to use every bit of water twice.

    Thanks again,

    Madeleine from New South Wales Australia

    1. Hi Madeleine,

      We are thinking of you all here in California! We had that toxic smoke during the Camp Fire in 2018. We couldn’t go outside and that lasted for about 11 days (or maybe a day or two longer). It seemed like an eternity. I can’t fathom what that’s like for months.

      I’m glad you haven’t had to evacuate. I have heard about Morrison and his lump of coal in Parliament 🙁 I don’t know how climate deniers can sleep at night — well I guess because they are so clueless. My only hope is that people will be so angry, that the unprecedented climate protests in 2019 will be topped this year. I hear the argument often that individual action doesn’t matter but it does and we need it all — government, industry and individuals tackling this like previous generations hunkered down and did what needed to be done during WWII. Yes to tree planting!

      I hope your vegetable garden does well. We all need to do the things you’re doing.

      Hugs from California,
      Anne Marie

  4. thank you so much for posting this. I’ve been in Batemans Bay (a few hours south of Sydney) for the last few days volunteering and it’s great to have international support. While our government gives us platitudes and continues to do do bugger all about climate change, ordinary people are being real heroes.

    1. Hi El,

      I’m so sorry for what is happening to your beautiful country. It’s heartbreaking. We are thinking of you here in California. Our government is like yours, doing its best to speed up our demise. But people are angry! The climate protests will be even bigger in 2020. The movement won’t be stopped.

      ~ Anne Marie

  5. Hi Anne Marie. Thank you for this post. I live in Bairnsdale, East Gippsland, Victoria, Australia. We have fire burning out of control just 10kms from us. Bairnsdale is an evacuation centre for those displaced/evacuated from communities throughout East Gippsland. Today my husband and I volunteered at one of the donation centres organising goods for bushfire affected people and also for remote communities cut off by bushfire. People’s generosity has been overwhelming. It’s not just the donation of goods, people have driven from 300km away to volunteer their time and help. Truckloads of donated goods from across the State are arriving. Some of those goods will then be flown into remote communities. I could go on…. The response from people like you and from the rest of the world is just amazing and appreciated probably more than you will ever know. Thank you, thank you, thank you. With love from Australia x

    1. Hi Lisa,
      I’m happy to try to help from over here in the US. Ten kms is very close. That must be terrifying. I hope you are still safe and that the fire has retreated. Stories like yours reinforce our faith in humanity during such a horrifying crisis. Thank you for sharing them.
      Sending love back from California,
      Anne Marie

  6. Thank you for sharing this.

    1. Happy to share, Lisa 🙂

  7. I always love reading your blog and I want to thank you so much for this post. I’m blown away by the international support we have been receiving. It is heart-warming at such a dark time. Sydney, Australia.

    1. Hi Narelle,
      We’re all in this together but you Australians are on the front lines. I hope you are managing as well as you can with the heat and smoke in Sydney. Here in California, we are thinking of all of you in Australia.
      ~ Anne Marie

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