Australia has always had bushfires but the ones raging in our country's east are like nothing we've seen before. Like everyone, we've both been watching the news and social media and been shocked by the sheer size and verocity of the fires.
Feeling helpless here in Perth, as people and animals alike are fleeing for their lives, we went looking for the best place to donate money and goods and became a little overwhelmed by the options.
We have chosen to donate money individually to charities that resonate with our own families but Mr Poppins+Co will also donate 10% of all online sales taken in the month of January.
Here's the list of charities that we have discovered in our search for ways to contribute:
Celeste Barber's 'Please Help Any Way You Can. This is Terrifying,' NSW Fires Campaign Click Here
The Salvos are feeding firefighters and evacuees, and answering the needs of communities: Click Here or call 13 SALVOS (13 72 58) or donate at any Woolworths checkout.
Australian Red Cross doesn't have a specific bushfire fundraiser, but it's raising money through its Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund: Click Here
Community Enterprise Foundation - This appeal is run by Bendigo Bank's charitable arm and will initially focus on raising funds for communities in East Gippsland, north-east Victoria, south-east NSW and the Adelaide Hills. Click Here
Vinnies - The charity is currently running appeals for NSW, Queensland and South Australian bushfire and drought victims. Click Here
Other things you can do for wildlife if you are safe but in the vicinity:
Leave bowls of water outside for animals and birds escaping fires. Use shallow bowls with a few sticks or stones on one side to allow smaller animals to escape if they fall in.
Keep a cardboard box and towel in the boot of your car in case you find an injured animal that you can safely contain without putting yourself in any danger.
If you find an animal, don’t feed it but wrap it loosely in cotton fabric, place it in a ventilated box with a lid and keep it in a dark, quiet place and call WIRES 1300 094 737 or your nearest vet.
If you own a swimming pool and live near where fires are burning, drape something over the edge of your pool or stack bricks or stones besides steps so that animals have a surface to grab hold of and climb out.
If you own fruit trees remove netting so they they can share produce.
DONATE YOUR TIME, GOODS AND SERVICES
Foodbank - Cash donations are preferable, but the organisation is also accepting good quality tinned food (with ring pull), UHT milk, and items that are easy to "grab and go" like muesli bars, cereals, biscuits and pantry staples, pet food and personal hygiene products. Click Here
Shop with businesses who are donating a percentage of sales.
Recycle bottles and cans through Bottles for the Bush - Ten cents will be donated for every eligible bottle or can recycled at a Return and Earn (NSW) or Containers for Change (QLD) reverse vending machine until 23 February 2020.