Like countless people around the world, all of us at Primary are aching for Australia as bushfires that started in September continue to burn, destroy, and displace homes, habitats and animal life. We’ve been researching the best ways we can help from so far away, and decided to share what we found with you, including well-vetted organizations we have chosen to support with donations. We've also included some valuable links for helpful ways to talk to our kids about it all.
Reputable Sources to Donate Money or Resources
The two states that are most affected are Victoria and New South Wales. You can donate directly to the state fire authority in Victoria here and New South Wales here or to local fire brigades which are primarily volunteer-based. The New South Wales Rural Fire Service are also collecting donations for the families of volunteer firefighters who have been killed while on duty (donate here).
Australian Red Cross
The organization is supporting thousands of people through running evacuation centers and recovery hubs for people seeking refuge. You can learn more and donate here.
The Australian non-profit is supporting people who have lost all of their belongings by collecting donations or by accepting funds to buy essential items here.
Victorian Farmers Federations
The federation is raising funds to distribute fodder relief for farmers and livestock in Gippsland and Upper Murray area. You can learn more and donate here.
First Nations Communities
Neil Morris, a musician and community rights advocate from the Yorta Yorta community, has created a GoFundMe page here to provide direct support for First Nations Communities displaced by the fires. The funds will help with relocation costs, basic goods, and more.
The largest wildlife rescue organization in Australia is accepting donations to assist rescue and care efforts for animals affected by the fires here. You can also learn how to make pouches for small marsupials here.
The non-profit provides wildlife emergency services and is distributing donations to shelters and carers to help rebuild enclosures and equipment that has been lost to the fires. You can help here.
Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital
Daughter of famed wildlife conservationist Steve Irwin, Bindi Irwin, has been taking in misplaced animals at her family’s zoo. Their Wildlife Warriors program is raising funds to new enclosures for injured animals from the fire. You can donate and learn more here.
Tips and Resources for Talking to Our Kids
As parents, it can be difficult to explain the “bad things” going on in the world that are even complex to understand ourselves. Though fostering this conversation can be daunting, having an open discussion will ultimately make our kids feel safer and bring families closer together.
- Avoid graphic information and images
- Create a safe space for discussion
- Guide the conversation
- Reassure with words and gesture
- Break down issues on in simplest terms
- Tell them the age-appropriate truth
How to Talk to Children About Difficult News from the American Psychological Association
How to Talk with Your Children About Difficult Topics at Any Age from Motherly
Talking to Children About Tragedies & Other World Events from the American Academy of Pediatrics