Story by Nick Carroll
As you no doubt are aware, Australia’s holiday period has been ravaged by destructive bushfires that have hit particularly hard in some of our most loved coastal communities on the South Coast of NSW, Gippsland Victoria, and South Australia.
We wanted to pull together a list of ways you can donate and help those communities directly and indirectly.
We encourage erring on the side of directly donating money over food/goods, as services are better equipped to distribute resources to initiatives that need it most and can purchase goods at bulk (making your donation go further), and eliminating staff/volunteer time rifling through it. We also encourage you make thorough checks that the channels you are donating through are legitimate and credible.
Here are some of those places we reckon will take your dollar furthest in support of those that need it in this tough period, as well as a couple surf specific fundraisers that are happening:
The Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery
In Victoria, the CFA.
In NSW, the NSWRFS.
In SA, the CFS.
In QLD, the RFBAQ.
Low on Cash but Want to Give?
You can give blood, (if you’re eligible): donateblood.com.au.
Australian Wildlife Organizations
NSW Wildlife Council: Experts in wildlife rescue. Contacts for a wide range of wildlife rescue groups and donation opportunities.
WIRES: A non-profit organization providing rescue and rehabilitation for all native Australian fauna. All animal rescuers and carers are volunteers.
Wildlife Victoria: Donations to their Victorian bushfire appeal will be distributed to wildlife shelters and carers to help rebuild enclosures and equipment that they have lost in the fires as well as support those that are struggling to cope with the enormous number of animals that will need care in the coming weeks and months.
SYMPL: All proceeds from sale of Save Straya tees donated to AUS wildfire relief, distributed 50% to Wildlife Victoria and 50% to Wires NSW Wildlife Rescue.
Local Community Support
For long term support, follow Buy From the Bush, an org set up to showcase beautiful things you can buy from businesses from rural communities facing drought.
Similarly, you can follow Spend With Them, an IG account set up to feature businesses you can support in fire affected towns, like surf shop Akwa Surf in Milton, which ordinarily would be in its busiest tourist period right now.
You can provide a place to sleep for someone without one by registering at find abed.info.
You can give directly to the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund.
Fire Relief Fund for First Nations Communities: while ordinarily we suggest giving direct to areas through non–GoFundMe-like channels, to make your donation go further, we’ll make the exception for this as it is the only org we’re aware of that is in place specific to culturally sensitive support to First Nations communities that can continue to protect country via community controlled organizations and land councils.
Surf Community Doing Things
Cult surf Instagram page @SurfCore2001 put together a limited run of T-Shirts and and raised over $60,000 in the process. Those have sold out, but you can jump on his raffle now where all donations will go towards WIRES.
Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson are auctioning off a chance to go for a surf with the two of them somewhere around the QLD/NSW Border, proceeds going to NSW RFS Northern Rivers and Far North Coast Brigades.
John John Florence and John Pyzel are auctioning off a surfboard with 100% of proceeds going to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service and other direct aid agencies in Australia.
In the same auction, you can bid on one of Steph Gilmore’s personal surfboards, signed by the 7 time World Champ, proceeds going to NSW RFS Northern Rivers and Far North Coast Brigades.
In Byron on Saturday January 25, Fun Boys are presenting a movie night with surf movies by them, Andrew Kidman (showing Litmus!!!), Johnny Abegg and more to raise funds for bushfire victims (details where donations are going to are unclear at this stage).
Ocean and Earth (who are based on the NSW South Coast) have set up a fundraiser on GoFundme in a bid to raise over $100,000 from the surf community to disperse among the different local registered charities who are on the ground getting those communities back on their feet.
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