It’s a very sombre start to the New Year here in Australia.
It’s hard to have that twinkle of hope and fizz of excitement that a new decade brings when parts of our country are burning.
Tears are constantly slipping down my face.
The more I read, the more photos I see.
I sit here helpless.
At arm’s length from the disaster but yearning to help.
And I know you’re feeling the same.
The statistics are staggering:
Across the country, over 10.7 million hectares of land has been burned to the ground. That’s seven times the land burnt in the recent Amazon rainforest fires.
Over 1.25 billion animals have lost their lives, with 480 million animals killed by fire in NSW alone, including thousands of koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, birds and other iconic wildlife.
At least 28 people are believed to have lost their lives, as well, and over 2,200 homes have been destroyed.
Your support, no matter how small, would be greatly appreciated to help local organisations care for injured wildlife and restore their homes, as well as to help the brave-hearted people who are fighting the fires and are directly affected by the fires.
You can support via the following organisations:
Australian Red Cross
The Salvation Army
St Vincent de Paul Society
Givit (a great place to offer other forms of help, too)
WIRES Wildlife Rescue
RSPCA and associated state rescue organisations
Animal Rescue Collective
Foodbank (you can also donate food and groceries)
State fire services: CFA Victoria, NSW RFS, CFS Foundation (SA), RFBAQ (Queensland)
There are also innumerable small local groups, rescue centres and non-profits in need of financial aid, so if you have a strong connection to a particular area, please try to find out what’s happening in that region and donate accordingly.
Globetrotting has pledged to both WWF Australia and The Salvation Army.
Please hold our country in your prayers.
Please pray for life-giving rain.
Mother Nature’s gift, tears of hope.
We’re so thankful that none of our beloved Australian ride partners have been directly affected by the bushfires. We had to cancel our Wonnangatta Station Ride in the Victorian High Country departing January 13 due to Parks Victoria closing the national parks within the region, but as a positive, the fires have not directly impacted the area, nor the trails our ride partners use. However, these parks will remain closed until further notice due to out of control fires in surrounding districts and alpine areas.
The twinkle of hope in all of this terror is the human spirit and the deep desire to help those in need. To date, the bushfire appeal has surpassed $140 million in donations.
Satellite images via Copernicus Sentinel Imagery.