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How to help bushfire victims in Melbourne

You can do your part for the bushfire relief efforts by donating or attending one of these charity fundraisers

Rebecca Russo
Written by
Rebecca Russo
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Unprecedented bushfire activity has ravaged our state over the past couple of months. For now, the immediate crisis has subsided and life has returned to normal for many Australians. But for bushfire-affected communities, the rebuilding has only just begun. These residents still need your support to recover. Donating money is the best way to help, but it’s not the only way. 

See below for where you can donate or offer support or services. 

RECOMMENDED: You can help bushfire relief by dining at these Melbourne restaurants and bars.

Donate money

Donating money is one of the best ways to help those affected by the fires. Here are some reputable organisations worth donating money to.

Victorian Bushfire Appeal 
The Victorian government has set up a Victorian Bushfire Appeal in partnership with Bendigo Bank and the Salvation Army. One hundred per cent of donated funds will go directly to local communities affected by the fires.

Country Fire Authority’s (CFA) 
You can donate directly to the CFA’s public fund which is used to fund research programs and development, as well as direct support to brigades where needed.

Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund
You can also donate to the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund, a registered charity that provides immediate short-term funds to Gippslanders affected by natural disasters.

Wildlife Victoria
Donations to Wildlife Victoria’s bushfire appeal will be distributed to wildlife shelters and carers in order for them to rebuild enclosures and equipment lost during the fires.

Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund
Zoos Victoria has set up a fund that will help with emergency veterinary assistance and long-term planning for species recovery.

The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR)
The FRRR is calling for donations to their Disaster Resilience and Recovery Fund, which makes grants to local not-for-profit groups and helps support community leaders in implementing change in their community. 

Red Cross 
The Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund set up by the Red Cross has so far helped send staff members and volunteers to communities affected and displaced by the fires.

Donate blood

We understand that donating money isn’t always possible for everyone. If so, the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood has urged people to consider donating blood if you are able to. Booking is very simple and you can do so here.

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Donate goods

Premier Daniel Andrews made a statement urging Melburnians to donate money, as opposed to food and clothing, simply because there just aren’t enough resources available to sort through these items or get them out to the affected communities. 

However, if you have purchased food items in the hopes of getting them to the affected areas, you can drop them off at Foodbank, Victoria’s official emergency food and water relief organisation. Contact the food team to arrange a delivery time.

Foodbank Victoria is accepting monetary donations as well which will go towards purchasing food items in bulk. You can donate to Foodbank Victoria here.

Another way to help is through Givit, which matches donated goods with items that bushfire victims have requested following the disaster. The organisation acts as a broker, assisting bushfire-affected communities rebuild their lives with items like washing machines, fuel vouchers and children’s toys.

Buy from fire-affected businesses

Fire-affected communities dealing not only with the physical devastation of the bushfires, but the economic impact. The lack of business in these popular getaway destinations has meant many businesses need help getting back on track.

These initiatives have been set up in the past couple of months, each seeking long term sustainable support for bush communities.

@BuyFromTheBush showcases a number of drought-stricken rural Australian businesses including children’s stores, artists, artisan producers and workshops.
@SpendWithThem profiles small businesses in fire-affected regions of Australia – products range from jewellery and fashion to wine, produce and accommodation options.
@EmptyEsky is a movement that encourages city dwellers to head out and support businesses affected by the bushfires by bringing an empty esky and filling it with local produce.

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Volunteer your time

Volunteer-run charity BlazeAid was set up in the wake of the 2009 Black Saturday fires. The organisation works with residents across rural Australia following natural disasters such as fires and floods. As a volunteer, you’ll help to rebuild fences and other structures that have been damaged or destroyed. It’s not all heavy work though – many fences will need to be cleared of debris first or new fences rewired. If you’re aged between 12 and 85 and are keen to help, head to the website for more information.

Knit a trauma teddy

Are you a keen knitter? Consider knitting a Trauma Teddy, an adorable teddy bear toy distributed to children following traumatic events. Set up by the Red Cross, Trauma Teddies are all hand made (sewn together, stuffed and labelled) by volunteers from across Australia. You can download the Trauma Teddy pattern online.

Still feeling in an altruistic mood?

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