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News of devastation, victims and suffering are harrowing. But how can we help?

When a crisis on the scale of the Australian bushfires is unfolding, sometimes it's difficult to know where to start in order to help, but don't be trapped into thinking there is nothing you can do. Every little gesture makes a difference. Here are some of the ways you can help.

I'm so impressed and heartened by this initiative from the awesome Aussie writing community: #authorsforfireys, a Twitter auction channeling funds directly to the CFA to support firefighters. You can read more about it here: https://authorsforfireys.wixsite.com/website

You could start local, close to home. If you google your local community hub, you may well find that there is already a local organisation that is already galvanised, working as a collecting hub for donations and trucking them to the locations that desperately need help. take for instance Frankston Community Connect https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=frankston%20community%20connect&epa=SEARCH_BOX

who are trucking donation to Bairnsdale.

You might prefer to donate funds and there are a number of appeals already established with the express purpose giving relief to bushfire victims. Here are charities looking for financial donations:

Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund: 1800 811 700

The Australian Red Cross

You can also donate to the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery by calling 1800 811 700 or making a donation online.

The Salvation Army

Sallies has launched the Donate to the Disaster Appeal https://www.salvationarmy.org.au/donate/make-a-donation/donate-online/?appeal=disasterappeal

St Vincent de Paul - Vinnies https://donate.vinnies.org.au/appeals-nsw/vinnies-nsw-bushfire-appeal-nsw

Food relief for East Gippsland via Foodbank https://www.foodbank.org.au/support-us/make-a-donation/?state=vic

Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund https://www.gerf.org.au

Having seen the incredible work the Australian firefighters have been doing, you might like to donate to one of the Fire Services direct:





Findabed and Airbnb are both trying to help victims of the fires to find free accommodation. You might be able to offer someone much needed sanctuary.

Airbnb have set up pages to share free accommodation for people who are evacuating the fire zones. Find emergency housing or list your property via the NSW or Victoria page.

Free accommodation will be available until 16 January 2020.

Findabed is connecting people who can help offer relief accommodation https://epr1984.wixsite.com/shareabed

The loss of life and destruction of habitat has had a devastating impact on Australian wildlife. Nearly 500 million animals have been killed and many are injured. Here are some animal welfare charities who desperately need support:

World Wildlife Find Australia https://www.wwf.org.au/get-involved/bushfire-emergency#gs.ppfunf

NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) https://www.wires.org.au/donate/emergency-fund

Koalas in Care Facebook https://www.facebook.com/koalasincareinc/

Animal Rescue Collective https://www.facebook.com/groups/mkcfreecycle/

So ask yourself if there is anything you can do to help. It's never too little or too late!