Smoldering homes, no electricity, no drinking water- life for thousands of Australians looks like this right now.
As the country continues to battle one of the worst wildfires, at least 24 people have been killed and more than 63,000 square miles burned according to Reuters. The country has also lost more than 500 million animals.
Firefighters and several volunteers continue to tackle the fires that began in September 2019. A crew of American firefighters have also landed in Australia to help battle the flames.
How you can help the evacuees
CBS has put together a list of organizations you can donate to:
- Donate to the Australian Red Cross, which is supporting thousands of people in evacuation and recovery centers across the country. Local residents can volunteer their services.
- Donate to the Salvation Army Australia, which is providing meals and support to evacuees and first responders in multiple locations.
- Extra room in your home? Offer to host people in need of emergency housing on AirBnB.
- Donate to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, which is helping evacuated families recover. The organization is providing food and clothing, helping cover bills, and donating household items to those whose homes have been destroyed.
- Donate food, funds or services to Foodbank, the largest hunger-relief charity in Australia.
- Donate to a GoFundMe dedicated to displaced First Nations Communities that need to rebuild.
- Donate food, toiletries and household items using Givit.
How to help firefighters
- Donate to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service. The service has set up specific funds for the families of volunteer firefighters who have been killed while on duty this fire season.
- Additionally, actor and comedian Celeste Barber is also hosting a fundraiser for the Trustee for NSW Rural Fire Service and Brigades donations fund.
- Donate to Victoria’s firefighting service, Country Fire Authority. The service is also managing locals who want to provide accommodation for people who have been displaced.
- The Country Fire Service in South Australia is taking direct donations.
- Donate to the Rural Fire Brigades Association to support firefighters in Queensland.
How to help wildlife
- Donate to WIRES, a wildlife rescue nonprofit that is rescuing and caring for thousands of sick, injured and orphaned native animals.
- Donate to the World Wildlife Fund Australia, which is directing its efforts towards koala conservation.
- Donate to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital‘s GoFundMe, which has rescued and treated dozens of koalas suffering from severe burns. The hospital is using donations to install automatic drinking stations in burnt areas to help wildlife searching for water and to establish a wild koala breeding program to ensure the survival of the species.
- Donate to the RSPCA New South Wales, which is helping evacuate, rescue and treat pets and wildlife in threatened areas.