• Sarah Hunter

Australia Wildfires: How You Can Help

A male and female caregiver attending to an injured koala

While wildfires continue to burn across Australia, people across the world are coming together to raise money for efforts to assist the victims, human and animal alike.

Over 32,000 square miles have burned, which is 80 times larger than the 2019 wildfires in California, and more than 5,000 square miles larger than the 2019 Amazon rainforest fires. Dozens of human lives have been lost, more than 1,000 homes, and the latest ecological study estimates up to 1 billion animals have been killed. When the fires finally burn out, everyone will still be in great danger due to poor air quality, lack of drinking water, and loss of habitat. More information on the fires can be found here.

koala eating in a tree in Australia
Wildlife Victoria receives an average of 80,000 requests for animal assistance per year.

A tragedy of this scale is too large for any one government or group to mitigate, so it's going to take all of us to make a difference in the lives of our two and four legged friends down under.

In that spirit, I am donating 100% of the proceeds from the sale of my new Rip Curl Quilt to Wildlife Victoria. I will also cover the shipping cost of the quilt to the buyer. In the grand scheme of loss and destruction, it may not seem like much, but there is no such thing as a donation too small. As the old cliche goes, "Every penny matters." Check out this beautiful, fluffy baby quilt here. Keep reading for more ways you help! 👇

Why I Chose Wildlife Victoria

Wildlife Victoria (WF) operates the Wildlife Emergency Response Service in Victoria. On average, WF receives 80,000 requests for help each year and assists 50,000 animals. Per year!

As you can imagine, the demand for help has only increased since the fires broke out in September. While they do receive some federal assistance, the vast majority of their operational funding come from donations and project grants.

Kangaroo in Australian desert
Loss of food and water sources in the aftermath of the fires is a significant threat facing wildlife now.

The donations made to the Victorian bushfire appeal "will be distributed to wildlife shelters and carers to help rebuild enclosures and equipment that they have lost in the fires so that they can continue their lifesaving work, and support those that are struggling to cope with the enormous number of animals that will need care in the coming weeks and months."

Learn more about Victoria Wildlife here.

Other ways you can help

If you are not in the market for a baby quilt but would like to make a donation to Wildlife Victoria directly, click here.

If you are are a quilter or sewist, you can purchase specific patterns that designers have pledged to donate proceeds from, or you can lend your talents to a few ongoing support projects. Check out the post from Kristy over at QuietPlay for a list of patterns and projects.

And if you're not in the position to make a financial donation, that's okay! You can still help by simply spreading the word on social media. The following organizations are providing updates on the crisis, so be sure to follow and share:

Australia Red Cross

Salvation Army Australia on Facebook

Salvation Army Australia on Instagram

Wildlife Victoria on Facebook

Wildlife Victoria on Instagram

WIRES Wildlife Rescue on Facebook

WIRES Wildlife Rescue on Instagram

Port Macquarie Koala Hospital on Facebook

Port Macquarie Koala Hospital on Instagram

Currumbin Wildlife Hospital on Instagram

Being the Change

When Australia's fire season comes to a close in March, the real work begins. Homes and infrastructure must be rebuilt. Many families must endure the grief of a lost loved one. Poor air quality levels will affect the health of tens of thousands for months. Wildlife will struggle to find food, water and a new home. They all depend on the generosity of strangers around the world. They all depend on you and I.

"Be the change you want to see in the world" Mahatma Gandhi