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January 8, 2020

Four ways to help those impacted by the South Australian bushfires

How to donate directly to emergency crews and organisations supporting human and animal victims of the bushfires, and a guide to contacting your politicians to ask for greater leadership in the face of bushfires and the ongoing effects of climate change.

  • Picture: AAP Image/Kelly Barnes

In the city, the first signs of South Australia’s Black Summer bushfires came as a haze of smoke floating over the Hills and into the plains on Friday, 20 December.

The smell would hang over the city for days, but the news reports and social media images and video that flooded screens in December have yet to abate.

The response from the South Australian business community has been incredibly heart-warming – fundraising parties have been organised, donation buckets have been sat on café counters, restaurants have auctioned off dining experiences, and makers of every sort have donated all or a portion of profits from sales to various charities.

With such an overwhelming glut of donation options, it’s hard to know how best you can help.

The most effective way to get money into the hands of those who need it is by donating directly.

Below we’ve listed three ways you can contribute today: by giving to an organisation that aids emergency crews, human victims of the bushfires, as well as the non-human victims, who also need a lot of help.

We’ve also put together a fourth option: how to contact your state and federal representative to ask for greater governmental leadership as Australia reckons with a future affected by climate change.

Give whatever you can, be it $2, $10, $20 or above. If you’re strapped for cash but still want to contribute, we have also listed options for giving blood, foodstuffs, and clothing.

And by all means visit whichever of your favourite cafés, bars, restaurants and retail stores that have a donation system in place, and drop a buck or two in a donation bucket whenever you see one.


How to donate to bushfire emergency crews

Donate to the Country Fire Service via the CFS Foundation.

Donate to the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Appeal.

Donate to the Salvation Army Disaster Appeal.

How to donate to organisations helping bushfire victims

The Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Appeal also gives aid to victims of the bushfires.

Donate to the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal. While cash donations are most effective, you can also read through this FAQ on how best to donate goods.

Donate to the State Government’s State Emergency Relief Fund. There are several payment options, including donating cash via a Commonwealth Bank branch.

Donate to the Kangaroo Island Mayor’s Relief and Recovery Bushfire Fund.

Donate to Foodbank SA.
A spokesperson for Foodbank says the organisation has set up a Bushfire Appeal and “100% of the funds donated will be used for food relief efforts during this disaster relief and recovery. For every $1 donated, Foodbank SA will be able to purchase $6 worth of food.”
Foodbank SA is also accepting donations of non-perishable food items and toiletries, with the most-wanted items being “cereal, long-life milk, tuna, canned foods (including beans, spaghetti, meals) pasta/pasta sauce, tinned fruit/veg and toiletries (including sanitary products, shampoo/conditioner, toilet paper etc).”
Foodbank is also accepting pet food donations.

You can also donate blood.

How to donate to organisations helping animals impacted by bushfires

Donate to South Australian Veterinary Emergency Management In. (SAVEM).

Donate to this GoFundMe campaign set up by the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park.

Donate to Animals Australia.
A spokesperson for Animals Australia says the organisation is “providing and coordinating financial support to Vets For Compassion & South Australian Veterinary Emergency Management (SAVEM), to assist their efforts to reach and provide expert care for affected wildlife.
“We have also provided funds to Vets Beyond Borders who run the AVERT database, enabling volunteer vets to be deployed as needed into fire-affected areas.
“They have already deployed volunteers to assist in the provision of veterinary care to wildlife affected by fires in the Adelaide Hills.
“They are offering the same assistance to organisations in NSW and on Kangaroo Island. Our funding is helping to provide much needed veterinary supplies (dressings, anaesthetics, painkillers) and fodder for hungry animals.”

Donate to the RSPCA SA’s Bushfire Appeal.

Donate to Fauna Rescue of SA.

Donate to Adelaide Koala Rescue.

Donate to Adelaide Koala and Wildlife Rescue.

As mentioned above, Foodbank SA is accepting pet food donations.

How to contact your local and federal representatives

First of all, if you don’t know which electorate you’re in, use these links to find out:
Find your federal electorate
Find your state electorate

With this information, you can then find your federal representative here by searching for you electorate. Once you’ve found your local pollie, click their name to see their official contact information.

Find your state-level representative here by selecting your electorate from the drop-down menu and clicking the search button. Same as above, once you’ve found your pollie, click their name for their official contact information.

If you’d like to direct your missive to the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison’s official contact details can be found here.

While our response to the bushfires as a community is understandably driven by emotion, remember to be respectful in your correspondence and clear about what it is you would like from your elected officials.

You can see official guidelines for how to address politicians via written correspondence at this link.

For a headstart, check out blogger Anna Richards’ pre-written letter, which can be downloaded via her Instagram page and amended to suit.


This list will be updated. If you have a tip on how to donate, send it through to






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