The situation in Australia is devastating. With so many friends & family being either directly in the line of fire (literally & figuratively) this is a really worrying time for so many people, including me. The loss of homes, lives, communities, our unique flora & fauna - in an area that stretches to pretty much the equivalent of 4 times the length of Ireland - is just unfathomable. But fathom it we must. And this is the only way I can think of to help.
To put it in perspective for my for friends here, the distance from Malin Head to Mizen Head (ie the most northerly & southerly points in Ireland) is about 602km. Letterkenny to Dublin is about 240km. The distance along the Australian coast (where the majority of fires have been) from Brisbane to Melbourne is about 2600km.
Latest reports state that approximately 14.6 million acres have been burned since September. (The whole of Ireland is approximately 21 million acres).
I came across a Community Support Group that is based on the South Coast - an area that is of particular concern to me, because of friends & family.
(My Mum & Uncle are currently in an area that looks set to be evacuated, my cousin has been evacuated, & several friends are also in the danger zone. Thankfully all are safe, for now.)
Please read the story of the South Coast Community Support Group here & the amazing support they are providing for the RFS & Evacuees.
If you are in a position to donate directly to them, their bank account details are:
Shoalhaven Neighbourhood Services Inc.
Reference - South Coast Community Support Group
There's also a list of items they need in the above link.
But I'm creating this Gofundme fundraiser to try & reach more people, in the hope of raising more funds for them.
They use this money to supply, amongst other things, bottled water, first aid supplies, essential toiletries & food for the Rural Fire Service & Evacuees.
I'll keep you updated as to the amounts raised, & when I have transferred funds into their account.
(Because they are a community group, not a registered charity/non profit, I can't link this fundraising page directly to their bank account.)
Being so far away is so hard at the best of times, but even more so at times like this.
There are of course many areas in desperate need, but, if we can help,even a little, it's a start.
"No one person can do everything, but everyone can do something."
I'd also like to invite everyone to please share this fundraising link, or even join the team to help me fundraise.
Whether you have family & friends directly affected or not, the scale of this disaster is just so huge, it can't be ignored.
Thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart.