A few hours ago, it finally started to rain in Australia. Forecasts show that it will rain for a good few hours. A small window of relief, but huge blazes of fire are still to be expected.
I have seen firsthand what forest fires leave behind. Even weeks after the fires have died down, the environment is uninhabitable. Driving around in a burned-down forest, the strong scent of smoke stings your nose and throat. Everything is black and sooty. There is no green left, no refuge for animals or birds. You can’t clean it up, take a broom and sweep it out. The only thing to do is wait.
While we pray for Australia, let’s look at what else we can do to help.
Donate! Upon seeing the pictures of Australia burning, many of us are inspired to do something grant and heroic. Jump on a plane, help out in person! But what truly helps the most is donating money.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has urged people to pledge money instead of clothes or food. It takes too much time to sort through items, and there are not enough people and cars to distribute items right now. Dollars can be turned into items that are very much needed, without any extra work or waste.
You can donate to places like the Red Cross, through the general disaster relief fund;
Bendigo Bank Bushfires Disaster Appeal (Endorsed by Vic Govt);
Kangaroo Island Mayor’s Relief Fund (Endorsed by SA Govt);
If your heart goes out to the animals affected, look into the following organizations:
The RSPCA bushfire appeal will support pets, livestock and wildlife in the affected regions.
And the World Wildlife Fund is accepting donations to help support conservation activities – especially for koalas.
Even if you can only make a small donation, every little bit helps. And don’t forget that you can ask organizations and public figures to contribute a little.
Make it into a fun game. In dry January, why not play a donating game instead of a drinking game? Better yet, involve your friends!
Write to your local politician, national politician, or Australian government. You don’t need to break out the calligraphy, a tweet will do. Let politicians know that climate change causes more extreme weather, and more unpredictable weather patterns. Australia is a big exporter of coal but also a country that’s very much affected by heatwaves and droughts. Your voice might be the final straw towards a greener policy.
Let Australians know we’re thinking about them and they’re not alone. Start with your Australian friends or family, but even posting about it on social media or leaving a comment on news articles might be a huge boost in morale that it just needed right now!
Are you crafty and you want to contribute a tangible item? Even though there is a call to not send items, it seems little pouches for baby kangaroos (joeys) are still needed. Learn more here.
image by insider.com