Dear FREDA Followers,
You don’t normally hear from me, but my name is Jessica and I am very fortunate to be part of the Freda Family as the Digital and eCommerce Marketing Manager here in San Francisco. I’m also an Australian living and working abroad.
While I love my new life in America, I’m sure you are aware that my beautiful homeland is burning. So far, 12 million acres of forest land are lost in New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia. We’ve lost 25 human lives, 1000’s of people have been displaced from their homes and towns, and an estimated 1 billion native animals have died.
Like so many others, I feel helpless and find myself at a loss as to how to help as the devastation almost feels too immense to comprehend. We’ve always been a nation of bushfires, but never that have burned this intensely for this long. Australia needs help, so I wanted to share with the FREDA Community which organizations I’ll be donating to in the hopes that others might be inspired to help if they’re able. These organizations are where my Aussie friends and family are volunteering, or assisting in some way, so I personally have a first-hand account of the good work that they are doing, and I wanted to pass it along.
Please consider donating what you can, or even share information for the causes that speak to you. Together, we can all make a difference and help those who need it most right now.
Jessica @ FREDA Salvador
RURAL AND COUNTRY FIRE BRIGADES
Like so many other places, our rural and country firefighters are often volunteers forgoing their own work to help others save their lives, homes, and property. The scale and length of this fire have meant that a lot of these brave men and women are losing out on salaries from their regular jobs that help house and feed their own families. The rural and country fire services need our help to not only pay the volunteers but provide them with new protective clothing, gear and equipment as the fires rage on, destroying what was left of the reserves that they had. Country and Rural fire brigades are also the first points of contact to bushfire victims offering temporary accommodation, shelters, and evacuations. To learn more, or to donate, please see the following links:
New South Wales
9.9 Million Acres Burned
127 fires are burning — 67 of them still not contained.
2.2 Million Acres Burned
Kangaroo Island South Australia
40,000 Acres Burned
3 Large Fires - Not under control
WILDLIFE + FARM ANIMALS
One of the most heartbreaking things to see is the impact these fires have had on Australia’s unique animals. Koalas will now officially be classified as an endangered species as most of their natural habitat in the luscious bushland of New South Wales and South Australia has been decimated. There are makeshift centers across the states that run and are funded entirely by volunteers who are providing care and treatment for wildlife that have been injured in the fires. Their recovery will take months of not only specialized veterinary care but also finding a new habitat for some of these species will take money and resources that these centers just don’t have! Please consider donating to:
Adelaide Koala Rescue
Currently, these guys are operating out of a primary school that has been converted into a makeshift trauma center. All the vets are volunteers and are traveling in from all over Australia to help get our sleepy little furry friends out of danger. While they initially reached their fundraising goal, they have quickly outgrown it as the number of injured animals being brought into the center is escalating. They need money to help pay for medication, equipment, pens and to secure land for rehabilitation.
There are dozens of pop up shelters caring for Koalas, Wallabies, Kangaroos, Possums and a variety of natural cockatoos and birds that have been injured by the fires. They need money to secure habitats that these injured animals can be released back into once their long journey of physical recovery is over. Wildlife Victoria and WIRES are collecting donations and distributing them throughout each shelter.
For Victorian Animals: https://www.wildlifevictoria.org.au/
For NSW Animas: https://www.wires.org.au/donate/emergency-fund
It’s estimated that around 100,000 livestock have been lost to the fires as farmers had to make the heartbreaking decision to run to escape the blaze. As they return to their homes, those animals that survived are starving as there is no food and water available.
Need For Feed Disaster Relief and the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners are two grass-roots organizations run entirely by volunteers, but they are doing an incredible job in finding trucks and drivers to bring in much-needed hay to help farmers, sometimes in areas that are still dangerous. They need help to secure feed for livestock and farmers who have lost almost everything to drought and fire.
Info on how to donate on their Facebook Pages:
Need Feed For Disaster Relief (Run by the LIONS club) https://www.facebook.com/NeedForFeedDisasterRelief
Burrumbuttock Hay Runners (Run by Rotary)