Give Big This Festive Season
with our …
Charitable Holiday Season Gift Guide
With the unprecedented weather events and devastation befalling so many Australians this holiday season, our charitable holiday season gift guide is aimed at giving big and giving back in charitable ways.
Australia has suffered a devastating early bushfire season with fires across several states burning through hundreds of thousands of hectares and destroying hundreds of properties with the loss of six lives.
New South Wales has been the most severely hit, with more than 1.65m hectares razed, an area significantly larger than suburban Sydney. All six deaths occurred in there and more than 600 homes were destroyed. At one point firefighters were battling a fire front about 6,000km long, equivalent to a return trip between Sydney and Perth.
In Queensland, 20 homes have been lost and about 180,000ha burned. In Victoria, where the bushfire season usually starts later, 100km/h winds fanned more than 60 blazes during an unprecedented heatwave on Thursday. The most extreme warning, a code red, was issued for the north-western and central regions. The state’s emergency services minister, Lisa Neville, compared it to “the worst conditions you’d see in February or March”.
Seven districts in South Australia were rated as being at catastrophic risk of fire on Wednesday as temperatures soared into the 40s. A blaze on the Yorke peninsula burned through about 5,000ha, damaging at least 11 properties and injuring 33 people. Western Australia has also experienced early bushfires in several regions, with fears of much worse to come over summer, and there were minor bushfires this week in Tasmania. (The Guardian).
Tip for Gift Giving: Design your own D.I.Y. Christmas cards and have them printed for family and friends. You don’t have to be a graphic designer to do this as there are many websites with customisable cards you can design and buy online. Include a custom heart felt message on how they are contributing through your donation this holiday season as their gift.
One. Donate to the Salvation Army Disaster Appeal
The Salvos have launched a Disaster Appeal to support communities affected by the devastating bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland.
They’re hoping to raise $3 million in the appeal.
To donate to The Salvation Army Disaster Appeal, go to salvationarmy.org.au, call 13 SALVOS (13 72 58) or donate at any Woolworths checkout.
Two. Donate to the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery fund
The Australian Red Cross is supporting communities affected by fires in NSW, QLD and SA.
“Our specialist emergency volunteers are providing psychological first aid, working at evacuation centres and helping people to get in touch with their loved ones,” Red Cross says.
Three. Donate to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital
There’s fears that over 300 koalas have perished in the Port Macquarie region of New South Wales. The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital is accepting donations to develop and build watering stations for thirsty koalas on their GoFundMe page right here.
Four. Donate to GIVIT
If you don’t have much spare cash but do have useful household items to donate to those affected by the fires, GIVIT might be the place to go.
The Queensland Government has partnered with the fundraising platform and is encouraging people to donate funds or specific items requested by residents.
You can find GIVIT’s Queensland bushfire appeal here.
You can find GIVIT’s New South Wales bushfire appeal here.
The St Vincent De Paul Society is also running a NSW bushfire appeal, to help those affected rebuild their lives – with food, clothing, furniture, other essentials, and funds to pay bills.
You can donate at any Vinnies store or head here.
Six. MidCoast community
A GoFundMe page for the MidCoast community of NSW has been set up by the Lions Club of Taree.
You can donate to their cause here.
Seven. Koalas in Care
Taree couple Paul and Christeen McLeod have turned their home into a makeshift burns unit for koalas injured or displaced by the fires in NSW. They’re currently treating 24 koalas by tending to their burns, wrapping their paws in mittens, and creating beds for the animals to rest and recover.
Their beautiful story was shared on ABC’s 7:30 program on Monday.
Head to their Facebook page to see what items they’re calling out for, or head to their website to donate to their cause directly.
Eight. The Rescue Collective
The Rescue Collective, in conjunction with Animal Rescue Freecycle and Support is collecting donations on behalf of smaller rescues to help badly burned wildlife who have been impacted by the bushfires.
You can donate to the Rescue Collective here, or find a list of wanted items for donation with a list of drop-off locations here.
WIRES (NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service) is accepting donations to help their efforts in supporting displaced and injured wildlife affected by the NSW fires.
“It is impossible to estimate the number of native animals that have already been killed or how many more will be lost in the fires, or to predict the impact that this additional loss of habitat on top of the drought will have on wild populations,” WIRES says.
Ten. Red Cross Blood Service
If you can’t afford to give money or essential items, donating blood – if you’re eligible to do so – could be an option for you.
The Red Cross blood service says as its centres in Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Taree and Byron Bay’s mobile center are currently closed, they could use as many extra donors as they can get.
Head here to book an appointment and find a donation centre near you.
Eleven. Australian Lions Foundation
Australian Lions Foundation has set up a national appeal to support those impacted by the bushfires across Australia.
Lions Clubs are already working with their local communities to identify those who need support – this is why times of crisis Lions is so effective in distributing support quickly and to those who need it most.
You can donate through your local Lions Club or donate online here.
We hope Our Charitable Holiday Season Gift Guide has assisted you this holiday season in making a much needed donation to all those in need.