“When multiplied by millions, small acts can transform the world” (Howard Zinn)
Months of severe drought and blistering heat have fuelled a series of bushfires that have ravaged our beloved nation since September 2019, burning over 10 million hectares of land, claiming 27 lives and killing billions of Australian wildlife.
In times like this, it is easy to feel helpless and overwhelmed by such devastation, but it is also so important that as the future of this country, our generation act now and give back to the rescuers, the firefighters and communities who have done so much for us.
As students, we understand it can be hard to give back monetarily, however this doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways we can all do something small to make a difference.
With over 90+ donor centers and mobile donor centers across Australia, the Australian Red Cross are urging people to book an appointment to donate blood as soon as possible. With multiple centers being forced to close amid the deadly bushfires, and NSW and QLD comprising of over half of Australia’s total blood supply, those who need it most including burn victims, are being directly impacted and going without. If you are eligible to donate blood, please click here.
There are plenty of organisations currently looking for some extra assistance to help those affected by the bushfires rebuild and heal from the trauma. Some incredibleinitiatives include:
- BlazeAid – An organisation that helps build fences and other damaged structures on farms after natural disaster.
- The Australian Red Cross – The Australian Red Cross provides much needed disaster relief at evacuation centers, as well as provides support for people who have experienced distress. You may need to register for training, but you can do so here.
- Wildlife Victoria and WIRES – Help our most vulnerable creatures by donating or volunteering at two of the largest wildlife rescue organisations.
You would be surprised by the power of your many social media profiles and the chain reaction you can create when you share, like or re-post an image or caption for others to see and read. Not only are you raising awareness, but also spreading the message to others who might do the same thing. With the tap of a finger, you can do something to help.
Sew or Knit
With such a large portion of our native wildlife influenced by this disaster, many young marsupials including possums, koalas and wombats are suffering without their mothers, and require a warm and secure pouch to grow. The Facebook group, Animal Rescue Craft Guild have put the call out to people nationally and internationally to help rescuers by designing, recycling and producing products so these animals can feel a sense of normality again.
Support the Locals
Help rebuild towns and businesses affected by the fire by following @spendwiththem and @emptyesky on Instagram, which both connect local suppliers with potential spenders by promoting where you can buy cool stuff from those directly impacted. A movement spurred on by foodies and adventurers, local businesses include The Alpine Sauce Co in Bright VIC and Gather and Harvest in Mt Beauty VIC.
A Safe Space to Stay
If you or someone you know has a safe space to stay, Airbnb Open Homes are connecting hosts with people who have been displaced or are helping with relief efforts. Another similar platform is Find A Bed, where you can volunteer your home, spare bed or land to those who need it.