Australia is on fire. Though bushfires are relatively common Down Under, the fires of 2019 and 2020 have raged to the point of destroying nearly 20 million acres, taking 24 human lives, and killing half a billion animals. As firefighters, many of whom are volunteer, fight the flames on the front lines, hundreds of thousands of others from around the world have rallied to help the Australian population in other ways.
Making a monetary donation to an Australian organization is an effective way to help from afar. Indeed, according to the Victorian Country Fire Authority, “Experience tells us that donation of money is much more effective and provides more flexibility than the donation of material items or pre-loved goods.” But with so many organizations lending a hand — or at least, claiming to — it can be difficult to tell which entities are worthy of our hard-earned money. That’s where we come in. We consulted a variety of sources — from charity watches to government employees — to find out which charities are actually getting the most help to those who need it. Below are 10 Australian fire charities worthy of your donations.
Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital
Known worldwide as the zoological home of the Irwins — “Crocodile Hunter” Steve, his wife Terri, and their two children, Bindi and Robert — the Australia Zoo’s Wildlife Hospital has been doing its part to take in as many displaced animals as possible. In fact, according to Bindi, the Queensland-based hospital is “busier than ever.” At this time, most of the monetary donations are going towards new enclosures that can house everything from koalas to flying foxes, many of which have been injured by the fires. You can donate via the zoo’s Wildlife Warriors page.
Australian Red Cross
To date, the Australian Red Cross has helped nearly 19,000 people affected by the fires in Australia. They’ve set up evacuation centers and recovery hubs throughout the affected area in order to assist families and individuals. The organization is also providing training, equipment, and logistics to those volunteering to fight the bushfires. Donations can be made here.
GIVIT is an Australian nonprofit which has really stepped up for those affected by the bushfires. The organization is collecting money and everyday items such as pet food and fencing materials to help fulfill the specific requests of those who have lost everything. Those wishing to support GIVIT in their endeavor can see exactly what is needed and donate here.
Government of Victoria
Victoria is one of the Australian states that has been hit hardest by the bushfires. In response, the Victorian Government has partnered with The Salvation Army and Bendigo Bank to establish a fund for families and communities which have been destroyed, or otherwise affected. An advisory panel has also been organized to recommend how donated funds will be allocated. To find out all the ways you can donate to the government of Victoria, visit the state’s official website.
Local Fire Departments
Many of the brigades fighting the fires on the front lines are made up of volunteers. To help support these departments, consider donating straight to those in New South Wales and Victoria, two of the states hit hardest. Monetary donations are enabling fire departments to acquire exactly what they need to fight the fires while maintaining their own health and safety. To donate to fire departments in Victoria, please visit cfa.vic.gov.au. To donate to fire departments in New South Wales, visit the government’s website.
Nature Conservancy Australia
Nature Conservancy Australia is one of the organizations that has been tasked with overseeing the Australian government’s pledge to commit $50 million towards immediate wildlife and habitat recovery. The organization is also relying upon donations from the public to take on such tasks as:
- identifying, managing, and protecting habitats that have not burned
- helping to fund and deliver the massive-scale restoration of affected habitats
- putting together response teams that can effectively manage fire in a warming climate
You can support the mission of Nature Conservancy Australia by donating here.
Port Macquarie Koala Hospital
Australia’s koala population has been hit hard by the recent fires. Fortunately, there’s the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital to help. Based in New South Wales (but helping koalas throughout the country), the koala hospital rescues, treats, then releases koalas which have been burned, injured, starved, or which have otherwise lost their homes. Monetary donations can be made via the hospital’s website, here.
Victorian Farmers’ Federation
The Victorian Farmers’ Federation is the collective voice of farmers in the state of Victoria. A number of farmers have been affected by the fires, and the Federation has set up a disaster relief fun to help these farmers rebuild, and to provide food and care to animals in the interim. The public is invited to assist these efforts by making monetary donations here.
Dedicated to offering “a helping hand for wildlife in need,” Wildlife Victoria is a wildlife emergency response organization. Not surprisingly, the organization has dedicated itself to assisting animals which have been injured and lost due to the bushfires. It’s appreciative of any donations made by the public. Donations are currently being distributed to wildlife shelters and carers to acquire and/or replace equipment and enclosures, and treat as many animals as possible. Donations can be made via the organization’s website.
Wildlife Information, Rescue, and Education Service Inc. (WIRES) is Australia’s largest and best known wildlife rescue organization. In the month of December alone, WIRES responded to 20,000 calls and spearheaded 3,300 rescues. Based in New South Wales, WIRES is run entirely by volunteers. Donations can be made here.