How You Can Help Those Affected By the Wildfires in Australia

published Jan 6, 2020
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Australia’s bushland has been actively burning since last September, quickly destroying over a million hectares of land. As of last week, the wildfire crisis escalated tremendously as winds spread the fires across southeastern Australia, burning a total of 6,000 hectares in one night alone

The Associated Press reported that 12.35 million acres have burned so far, and there are no signs of stopping. 25 people and over half a million animals have lost their lives, and this summer season has resulted in at least 1,400 destroyed homes. With months of expected burning ahead, it’s more important than ever for us to step in and up to help those who have been affected—and there’s plenty of ways to do just that.

You can donate to nonprofits who are helping with household recovery, and you can donate for those in need of emergency housing through Airbnb’s Open Homes program. Many animals are left without homes, too, and there are plenty of organizations supporting the protection of Australia’s wildlife that are accepting help. Beyond housing, there are numerous groups accepting donations to help feed, dress, and provide other essentials for residents and firefighters directly affected.

While there are plenty of others out there, see below for the organizations that we recommend looking into to help Australia recover from this disastrous time.

Australian Red Cross: The Red Cross is currently responding to the thousands of people in evacuation centers around Australia, and your donations go toward recovery programs, emergency assistance, and providing necessities as well as the tools volunteers need to make successful rescues. If you happen to be in Australia, you can also figure out a way to help on the ground here.

Airbnb Open Homes: This program works to connect willing hosts with those in need of emergency housing. Here’s how it works: those who are interested in opening up their homes for free create a profile and then let possible guests or nonprofits placing guests reach out. Once there’s a good fit, hosts will set up their homes and can turn to the nonprofit or guest for any questions. Of course, if you’re not in Australia, you can support this program by donating to the cause and help more hosts open their doors.

St. Vincent de Paul Society: The first chapter was founded in Australia in 1854, and since then the Society has worked to give back to their community in times of need. By donating, you will help provide food, clothing, household items, and other essentials as well as help pay for expenses for those who’s homes have been destroyed.

WWF Australia: WWF is a trusted source when it comes to wildlife preservation, and WWF Australia is the seventh largest network in the WWF Network. A shocking 5% of the koala population remain as the bushes still burn in Australia, according to WWF Australia’s website, so it’s now important more than ever to support the wildlife.

WIRES: Standing for “Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc.,” WIRES is the largest animal rescue organization in Australia running seven days a week, 365 days a year. The organization is stressing the need to act now to prevent more animals from being affected, and donations will contribute to helping rescue sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife.

Country Fire Authority: Serving as a major volunteer and community based fire service in Victoria, Australia, this organization is sending out firefighters protect its many residents and wildlife. Donating to the CFA brigade will help support the fire service rescues as well as provide food, clothing, and other essentials to those who need it. The CFA also encourages you to donate to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal, a government-run program that sends money directly to affected families and communities.

We would like to say thanks to you, the Apartment Therapy community, for always being ready to jump in with your support. Please add any additional organizations or information in the comments below!