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Even in our darkest days, the true spirit of Australia has shone through.

For further information on how you can help those affected by the bushfires, read our post here.

It’s all too easy to feel helpless, scared and distraught right now.

Australia is on fire, the words ‘catastrophic,’ ’emergency’, and ‘disaster’ are common place on media websites and on social media, our cherished sunburnt country is looking more apocalyptic by the hour.

But, while these words and frightening images weigh on our consciousness, the hope and overwhelming stories of kindness, generosity and charity must also be acknowledged. It’s the bittersweet silver lining to the current charred, bruised and battered reality facing thousands of Australians.

From the volunteer firefighters who have bravely put their lives at risk, to the fundraising efforts from Australians everywhere, here are just some examples of the Aussie spirit shining through during this tough time.

For those able and with the means to help, we’ve also included a list of ways you can donate at the bottom of this post.

Celeste Barber’s Facebook fundraiser.

In less than three days, comedian Celeste Barber has raised over $31 million dollars and that number continues to rise by thousands every time you refresh the page.

Close to 800,000 people have donated to the page globally, with the money going to the Trustee for NSW Rural Fire Service & Brigades Donations Fund.

You can access her fundraiser here.

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Sikh volunteers driving 700km to offer free home cooked meals.

A group called Sikh Volunteers Australia have spent the past eight days driving around Victoria to deliver meals at multiple locations.

In one Facebook post, they shared that their chef, Sukhwinder Kaur has been “working continuously” in the last five days in the Gippsland area, preparing around 400 meals a day.

“She has not gone back to home from last five days,” they wrote.

Sports people are doing their bit.

Currently playing in the ATP Cup, Australian tennis player, Nick Kyrgios led the charge, announcing that he would donate $200 for every ace he hits this summer.

“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.

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Beating his first game against German player, Jan-Lennard Struff, he hit 20 aces, raising $4000 for bushfire relief.

Other tennis players and athletes followed his lead, with Sam Stosur, Alex de Minaur, John Peers, Dylan Alcott, Heath Davidson and John Millman also taking part. The ATP Cup has also announced its involvement, donating $100 to the Red Cross Bushfire disaster relief for every ace served across its three venues. They estimate more than 1500 aces to be served, resulting in a tournament contribution of over $150,000.

World number one Ash Barty is pledging to donate all of her Brisbane International prize money.

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After donating more than $30,000 late last year to the RSPCA to help wildlife affected by the national disaster, Barty said she wanted to dig deep again for families who have been left devastated by bushfires.

A big donation from Barty looms for the bushfire appeal. She is the top seed in the Brisbane event which starts on Monday, with the winner taking home $US250,000 ($A360,000).

The Australian cricket team has also vowed to help. Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Pat Cummins and James Pattinson have pledged to donate $1000 for every wicket they take and Chris Lynn has announced he will donate $250 towards the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal for every six he hits in this year’s Big Bash League.

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Football Federation Australia announced on Sunday that they will dedicate rounds 14 and 15 of the A-League and rounds 9 and 10 of the W-League to raise funds for those impacted by bushfires and drought.

Netball Australia said they would announce in the coming days the most effective ways to provide both immediate and lasting support, and the NRL is also expected to announce how it will offer support.

Two-time Dakar Rally winner Toby Price pledged to donate his starting jersey and pants for this year’s Dakar, with the auction already in excess of $13,000 on Sunday.

Australian businesses are doing their bit to help.

Countless businesses are donating their proceeds to the bushfire relief. The fashion and beauty labels shown below are just some of the hundreds of brands choosing to help.

How to help bushfire victims
Image: Instagram @nataliefornasier, @frank_bod and @luna_bronze.

People are also rallying behind Australian business owners who've lost their livelihoods because of the fires. The story of Vinteloper's David Bowley is just one of the many touching stories that have come from loss and tragedy.

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After losing his winery and vineyard in the Adelaide Hills, his sister and ABC podcast producer Monique Bowley asked her Instagram followers to help by buying his remaining stock. And people did.

 

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"When I asked you guys to buy his wine the other day I didn’t know if it would even make a difference," she wrote in a post from six days ago.
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"Then his phone started pinging with orders. And he looked at me and said in wonder 'I....I think all your people are buying wine' and he peeled himself off the floor, and with every ping I watched him come back to life. ⁣
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"All of you took a chance on a small business and said 'let me help!' and you did good and I am feeling very #grateful and so is he. ⁣
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"There’s a long road ahead for him. ⁣But every single bottle has made the hugest difference to him, his family, his business and to our family too."

 

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Update: This is my big brother David. He has not smiled in many many days because his vineyard at @vinteloper burned down and it has been a shitty fucking Christmas I’ll tell ya.⁣⁣ ⁣ Sure I’m hugging him but we both stink like smoke and our backs hurt and we are tired. ⁣ ⁣⁣ When I got to Adelaide, he was a shell of a man. And I said TELL ME HOW TO HELP YOU and he threw his hands up and said I DON’T KNOW. He’s a smart guy but has anyone written a guide on what to do when your vineyard totally burns down? No. They bloody haven’t. So we had no idea.⁣ ⁣⁣ Enter, you. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ When I asked you guys to buy his wine the other day I didn’t know if it would even make a difference. ⁣ ⁣⁣ Then his phone started pinging with orders. And he looked at me and said in wonder “I....I think all your people are buying wine” and he peeled himself off the floor, and with every ping I watched him come back to life. ⁣ ⁣ Later that night he said Monz I love you. And he’s never said that. Not on my wedding day. Never. I think what he meant was, I love that you would do this for me.⁣ ⁣ So I forced him in front of this hedge for a photo. I said Dave, I’m sick of seeing burned down things, please let’s find a lush green hedge for a quick selfie so I can THANK the shit out of everyone who bought wine. Which in hindsight is perhaps insensitive? y/n ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ All of you took a chance on a small business and said “let me help!” and you did good and I am feeling very #grateful and so is he. ⁣ ⁣⁣ There’s a long road ahead for him. ⁣ ⁣ But every single bottle has made the hugest difference to him, his family, his business and to our family too. ⁣ ⁣ Thankyou⁣ ⁣ I love you. And what I mean is, I love that you would do this for my brother. ❤️

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Make It Rain, Fund the Firies 2020.

Musicians are also taking part. Singers like Wolfmother, Bernard Fanning, T’N’T and Monica Frances are joining forces to put on a two-day, 'Make it Rain' festival in Byron Bay on January 8 and 9. Funds raised will go to support NSW RFS Northern Rivers and Far North Coast Brigades.

The tickets have nearly sold out, however multiple other celebrities are auctioning their services and prized possessions and they're still taking bids. On offer is a training session with Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky, a signed surfboard from Stephanie Gilmore and guitar signed by Powderfinger.

Aussies are opening their homes for one another.

When Channel 9 reporter, Brett Mcleod needed overnight accommodation while covering the fires in Lake Conjola, NSW, local resident, Pete, instantly offered his services.

Sharing Pete's note on his Twitter account, it asked Brett to help himself to the filtered water and anything in the fridge or freezer.

"This is what Aussies do in times of need," it read.

Brett's story is just one of many examples of Australians generously opening their homes to those in need.

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International organisation Airbnb are also supporting local efforts with their Open Homes program which is offering free accommodation to NSW and Victoria resident in need. Countless hosts have joined in, and you can offer your spare room to the cause through their disaster relief page here.

How can you help?

Cash donations are the most effective method, however charities like Givit and the RSPCA have advertised for specific items to best aid those affected.

Organisations are discouraging people from dropping off miscellaneous items like clothes and furniture to affected areas.

Speaking to the ABC, Givit founder and director Juliette Wright says "it is only hampering their response efforts".

For some more links of where you can donate, see:

The Australian Red Cross.

The Salvation Army. 

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

Givit.

Wires.

Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal.

The Rescue Collective.

A GoFundMe for the families of Geoffrey Keaton and Andrew O’Dwyer, the two volunteer firefighters who died while fighting a fire in Buxton, NSW. So far the page has raised over $399,000.

Have we missed any other ways Australians banded together in the light of the bushfires? Tell us in a comment below.

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