news

Bushfire relief: How you can help Australians battling today's 'catastrophic' conditions.

There is this sick feeling amongst Australians right now–- those of us who aren’t directly affected by the bushfires.

You can feel it at the coffee shop while making small talk with the barista, you could feel it at celebrations of a New Year that felt a little bit wrong, you can feel it as soon as you log into Facebook or Instagram and see the outpouring of desperation. “How do we help?!” is the question we’re all asking.

To those doing it tough right now – fire might not be licking at all of our doorsteps – but Australians are rallying.

You’re not alone.

Thankfully, some compensation has been announced for volunteer firefighters. Post continues after video.

Video by Seven

Here are some of the ways fellow Aussies are lending a hand, and some of the ways you can help as the NSW South Coast and Victorian Gippsland prepare for the horror conditions expected today.

In the tennis world, Nick Kyrious is leading the charge.

He started with a plea to Tennis Australia, “surely we can do a pre Open expo to raise funds?,” he asked.

ADVERTISEMENT

But then he came up with an idea.

“I’m kicking off the support for those affected by the fires. I’ll be donating $200 per ace that I hit across all the events I play this summer,” he tweeted.

Other players followed.

“I like this I will go $250 per ace, just because I don’t think I’ll be hitting as many aces as you mate,” wrote Alex De Minaur.

“I’m not at your level boys but I want to get involved. $100 for an ace over the Australian summer,” added John Millman.

The ATP Cup is also rising to the challenge.

Playing his first game against German player, Jan-Lennard Struff, he won the game 6-4 7-6(4), hitting 20 aces and raising $4000 for bushfire relief.

Speaking about his decision to donate to the bushfire crisis after the game, the 24-year-old broke down in tears.

“I don’t really care about the praise too much. We’ve got the ability and the platform to do something,” he said.

“My home town is Canberra and we’ve got the most toxic air in the world at the moment, that’s pretty sad. It’s tough. Sorry.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Aussie cricketers are also following suit.

Channel 7 sports presenter, Melanie McLaughlin announced that Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Pat Cummins and James Pattinson will donate $1000 to the bushfire appeal for every wicket taken.

Currently the Australian Cricket team are taking on New Zealand in Day Two of the Pink Test, which is done in partnership with the McGrath Foundation.

ADVERTISEMENT

Our country’s singers and celebrities have banded together to put on a two-day Make It Rain fundraising concert for firies in Byron Bay on January 8 and 9.

The line-up includes Wolfmother, Bernard Fanning, and T’N’T – and tickets have completely sold out.

There is also an auction underway if you missed out on the shows, with the website taking bids on everything from a training session with Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky to a signed surfboard from Stephanie Gilmore.

Influencers are using their platforms for good, donating to causes themselves and encouraging their huge followings to do the same.

Media personalities like Bec Judd, models like Steph Claire Smith and newsreaders like Chris Bath are all posting and pleading on behalf of those in danger.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

As many of us head into the new year with homes intact and loved ones close by, there are a lot of people out there entering a new decade with absolutely nothing. An area greater than the size of Belgium has been burnt to the ground. 5 million + hectares have been burnt, 18 lives have been lost; at least 9 since Christmas Day, 1000 + homes have been lost across the country this season, the navy has just touched down in Malacoota as a ‘humanitarian crisis’ is developing in the region because there’s no fuel, no food and no power. More than 500 million animals have perished, farmers have been forced to execute their own burning cattle & to make matters worse, Saturday is expected to be worse than NYE as conditions are expected to be ‘catastrophic’. This first video is one of my best friends family members trying to save their home in Mallacoota. There is just such a feeling of helplessness and I sit here in tears writing this, thinking of all the devastation across our beautiful country. To the firefighters who wake up everyday and fight these fires- we applaud your bravery & we truly thank you, to their families- we thank you, we are thinking of you and we appreciate you, to those directly affected- our hearts and all our love and wishes are with you. If you are in a position to donate please visit @salvosau @redcrossau & state based fire brigades. My heart is so heavy. Praying for the safety of those affected and their homes. ????????

A post shared by Brooke Hogan (@brookehogan1) on

ADVERTISEMENT

Some are actively collecting their follower’s donations themselves, like NRL commentator Allana Ferguson.

She’s managed to raise $20,000 in 24 hours.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Firstly thank you so much for your kindness and your generosity. We are overwhelmed with the amount of community spirit! For the moment we have been inundated with clothing donations. Please no more clothes and toys at this stage as we continue to work out our logistics. I will keep you all updated on our progress in storing and transporting items down to those who need them. Food is definitely still a priority, as are hygiene products and medical supplies. At this point the most beneficial thing for those that can help in this way is to donate money. We are in contact with other local community members and when the time is right in the near future, we are going to use the money on their suggestions. Please again see the link in my bio to donate. We have raised well over $20k in under 24hrs which is all going towards buying brand new essentials for the victims of the fires ???????? Thank you again! You’re all seriously amazing, we can not believe it ????✨

A post shared by Allana Ferguson (@allanaferg_) on

Comedian Celeste Barber, who also launched an online fundraiser for volunteer firefighters, raised more than $2 million in just 24 hours.

Almost 60,000 people from around the world have donated to the cause so far.

“This is out of control! You are all out of control. My love and appreciation for you all is out of control,” Barber wrote on Facebook.

ADVERTISEMENT

Businesses are doing their bit, where they can, giving their proceeds to bushfire survivors, and charities and the firefighters.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Bloom World tickets available via link in our profile. 100% of profits going towards the bush fires and families in need ????????

A post shared by B L O O M (@bloomapp) on

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

And there are businesses that have been affected that you can directly support yourself, like wine maker Vinteloper in the Adelaide Hills.

Or you could support the whole region – there’s a GoFundMe for that too.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

The last time I saw my brother cry was in 1989 when he was in hospital for a leg operation. He was 9 years old. ⁣ The next time was today.⁣ He’s lost everything. His house, his business, his beautiful adored grapevines, his pride and joy. Years and years of toil on a business that he built from scratch and now it’s all gone. ⁣ @vinteloper was his life’s work and as anyone who runs a business knows, it’s hard enough. ⁣ If you’re looking for some way to help, please, #buyfromthebush and get some wine direct from his website. I’ll put the link in my bio. The cashflow is much needed if he’s ever going to be able to rebuild. And if he can’t, you might just have one of the last bottles of wine that he made.⁣ I’m heartbroken for you Dave. ???????? #SAfires #SABushfires #vinteloper #wine #cudleecreek #cudleecreekfire #smallbusiness #supportsmallbusiness #adelaidehillswine #wineaustralia @gtwinemag @wineaustralia @buyfromthebush #adelaidehills #adelaidehillswine #adelaide #southaustralia #southaustralianwine #satourism

A post shared by moniquebowley (@moniquebowley) on

Hundreds of AirBnB hosts are offering stays for free through their Open Homes program in NSW and Victoria. If you’ve got a spare room you can as well, you’ll find their disaster relief page here. This is currently available until January 17.

Australians are rallying for the 480 million animals we’ve lost. The online fundraiser for the koala rescue hospital in Port Macquarie made history at the end of last year, for becoming Australia’s most successful GoFundMe ever.

ADVERTISEMENT

Of course, there is more work to be done. Now it’s the Mogo Wildlife Park on the NSW South Coast that needs help.

They managed to save their 400 animals over the New Year, but with fire conditions returning tomorrow – they’re again in the firing line.

You can help them here.

Wild 2 Free Kangaroo Sanctuary in Mogo State Forest also needs help, after being devastated by fire. You’ll find them here.

You can help the families of those that we’ve already lost. There’s a GoFundMe underway for firefighters Andrew O’Dwyer and Geoffrey Keaton who died in December fighting blazes near Sydney.

Yesterday a photo of Geoff’s 19-month-old son Harvey broke all of our hearts, with donations up at $385,000 – well on their way to the $500,000 target.

ADVERTISEMENT

$47,000 has already been raised for the wife and unborn child of firefighter Samuel McPaul in a now closed GoFundMe.

Then there are the big ones, the organisations taking the majority of funds – the ones that need the most help and can spread the money the furthest.

Here is where to find them:

The Australian Red Cross.

The Salvation Army. 

State based fire brigades like the NSW RFS and the Victorian CFA. 

Givit.

Wires.

The Rescue Collective.

… And there’s more.

Mamamia Out Loud, our bi-weekly podcast, is coming to Melbourne for a live show, with 100 per cent of all ticket proceeds going to the Australian Red Cross disaster relief and recovery fund.

It’s a brand new show, full of laughs and news and opinions and a few special surprises, with Mia Freedman, Holly Wainwright and Jessie Stephens, on February the 11th. You can buy tickets right now at mamamia.com.au/events. See you there! 

Feature Image: CFA Vic/Brianna Travers.

00:00 / ???