It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless while fires burn through our communities and natural treasures. Here are many ways you can support firefighters, victims and wildlife around Australia who are impacted by this summer’s unprecedented bushfire season.
Many services agree that donating money is the best way to contribute, but you can also make a big difference by giving your time, resources, spare room, and even blood. Every little bit helps.
#1 rule: Make sure you donate to legit fundraisers
Scamwatch, our national competition and consumer watchdog, has warned generous Aussies to be on alert following reports of dozens of bushfire-related scams.
Support Fire Services
Most state-based fire services take tax-deductible donations. That means the money you donate is taken off your salary to lower your taxable income at the end of the financial year. You can also search for the bank details of local volunteer fire brigades and make transfers directly into their bank accounts.
Donate to charities
Red Cross disaster relief and recovery
Support communities affected by fires in NSW, QLD and SA by donating money here or giving blood to the blood bank. Blood is surprisingly versatile and can be made into 22 different medical treatments. These support people with injuries or who may need routine blood, plasma or platelet infusions.
Salvation Army Disaster Appeal
Go to salvationarmy.org.au, call 13 SALVOS (13 72 58) or donate at any Woolworths checkout.
St Vincent De Paul Society – NSW Bushfire Appeal
Help families pay bills and get food, clothes and furniture as they rebuild their lives by heading here or donating directly at Vinnie’s stores.
Support First Nations communities
Melbourne-based Yorta Yorta artist Neil Morris (Drmngnow) is raising funds to support First Nations communities in NSW and Victoria. To date, the campaign has raised over $1 million. Donate via GoFundMe.
Back independent fundraisers
Australian comedian Celeste Barber has raised over $50 million dollars for The Trustee for NSW Rural Fire Service & Brigades Donations Fund after her social media posts detailing her family’s experiences in the coastal town of Eden, NSW went viral. Donate here.
Australia’s much-loved actress Magda Szubanski and Will Connolly (known as Eggboy after crushing an egg into Fraser Anning’s head in 2019) have joined forces to raise money to help long-term mental health and trauma impacts for fire-affected communities. It’s at $125,000 and climbing. Donate here.
It’s difficult to comprehend the magnitude of the loss of native wildlife and farm animals when over six million hectares of land has burned. To help injured, hungry and homeless animals all around the country, get behind these organisations.
WIRES (NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc.) is a volunteer-run non-profit. It’s Emergency Fund for Wildlife supports the emergency rescue and care of native animals. Donate here. If you find animals that need assistance, call Wildlife Rescue on 1300 094 737. They also have a fact sheet for that provides general advice for helping wildlife injured by bushfire.
The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital is accepting donations to build watering stations for thirsty koalas. With $6.8 million raised so far, the hospital can now also purchase a water-carrying vehicle and establish a wild koala breeding program. Donate to the GoFundMe page here.
RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) in NSW has a bushfire appeal for staff to assist evacuation centres and the public to keep their pets and livestock safe. Donate here.
Zoos Victoria has set up a dedicated Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund to support emergency veterinary care for native wildlife. Donate here.
Animal Rescue Collective (ARC) is a community-led initiative of many rescue groups around the country who are banding together for fire relief. Check out drop-off locations on Facebook to donate animal supplies, feed and more.
Birdlife Australia is calling for donations to create habitat refuges, support bird-safe fire management, and keep a team of experts on the ground to help support the millions of birds already affected by bushfires. Donate here.
Animals Australia is providing immediate support to expert wildlife vets to travel to fire-devastated areas. Donate here.
Need For Feed Disaster Relief supports farmers and rural communities in East Gippsland to save their livestock. Register here to assist with your truck or vehicle, or donate animal feed or money here.
How about these legends – farmers helping farmers. About 90 trucks filled with donated hay being driven by volunteers have leaving Bairnsdale, heading to burnt-out farms to save surviving stock. Search “NEED FOR FEED” on Facebook for info. pic.twitter.com/gpwLyxAPVx
— Paul Dowsley (@pauldowsley7) January 5, 2020
Give time, goods and resources
Airbnb’s Open Homes Program allows anyone, free of charge, to open their doors and offer free, emergency accommodation to those displaced or fighting on the frontlines. To list your home, head here for NSW and here for Victoria.
BlaizeAid is a volunteer-run organisation that works with families and individuals in rural and regional Australia to rebuild fences and other structures that have been damaged or destroyed. To volunteer, find out more info on Facebook.
Find A Bed is connecting people with spare beds with people who need a place for themselves or their animals. If you have spare room, register here.
Foodbank is mostly calling for monetary donations but some states are still in need of non-perishable food items, hygiene products, and more. Search by state here and add Foodbank on social media to find out what’s needed and where drop-off points are near you.
Givit is a two-sided marketplace for people to donate the resources people really need. The platform has coordinated over 11,500 deliveries to those in bushfire-affected communities. Give money or list your items here.
Tradies for Fire Affected Communities is a Facebook group of volunteer tradespeople offering their skills to help those in need. Sparkies, chippies and plumbers unite!
Help us grow this list
Email email@example.com to add services, organisations and fundraisers supporting bushfire relief.