Burning since late September, the fires affected not only the land, but also the residents of Australia, including animals that live in the forests. Growing concern travels past Australia’s borders as the issue advances to an international affair.
Hunter Collins, senior, has family in Australia that have been directly affected by the ongoing fires.
“Before Christmas break, the fires got really close, and they [family members] all had to be evacuated… They went to stay with friends that were not in the affected areas,” Collins said.
With over 2,000 homes evacuated and roughly 30 people dead, the fires are proving relentless. While bushfires are common in Australia, these are unmatched. A record average temperature was reached in December at 41.9 degrees Celsius due to the growing fires.
While the world watches as Australia struggles to put out the fires, many people wonder what they can do to help.
“We can’t do much because we’re here [America], but I think something that would help would be to send money,” Collins said.
Half a billion animals have died since the fires start in September, these deaths caused the extinction of multiple species. The surviving species face difficult challenges. 59% of the feeding habitats for kangaroos have been burnt already as the fires burn and destroy more land.
The most effective way to help from America is to donate. Multiple celebrities donated and encouraged their fan bases to donate as well.
While there are numerous charities that could use donations during these trying times, here are a few:
The Irwin Family Hospital
The family of the late Steve Irwin are continuing his legacy as Australia faces this difficult time. Since the beginning of the fires, the animal hospital has helped rescue and aid as many as 90,000 animals. A donation here could go toward housing for some of the rescued animals, or to the building of a new ward so they can accommodate more animals that need their help.
Australian Red Cross
Since July 2019, $115 million have been donated to the Australian Red Cross in efforts to support those who have been affected. The organization also has divided the funds between on the ground services such as relief centers and emergency teams; immediate bushfires support which provides for those who have lost a loved on or their home; and the Australian Red Cross has also set up a three-year recovery program.
Australian Country Fire Authority (CFA)
The CFA is volunteer-based emergency services program. Since the beginning of the Australian bushfires, the community has rallied together to volunteer in battling the flames. The organization provides multiple donation options. One of them allows donations to go directly to the communities who need it most. Another option helps support the volunteers and their families.