I don’t have words to describe the horror of the weekend fires that have ravaged Victoria and taken so many lives, homes and land. My heart is heavy and goes out to the affected families. But one thing I have seen is that in the face of such tragedy Australians have reached out to help those in need. The government has pledged to pay whatever it takes to rebuild the decimated communities (contrast that to the underwhelming reaction of the US government in the face of Hurricane Katrina). But more heartening than that is the massive out pouring of charitable giving in the face of this disaster.
This is not a comprehensive list. There are many other examples of people helping out, from finding ways to respond locally – such as Clem Bastrow of the Dawn Chorus’ drive for toiletries, to internationally, this guy from Toronto, Canada who is auctioning his guitar to raise money for the victims of the fires and floods.
This outpouring of giving warms my heart and makes the tragedy a little easier to bear. The knowledge that many many people are responding to this by finding ways to do what they can for those that have lost so much. In this I find an Australia that I can be proud to be a part of, a humanity that I don’t despair about.
Unfortunately disaster not only brings out the best in most of us, it brings out the worst in some. This ghoul is claiming that the fires are God’s punishment upon Vic for decriminalising abortion. (This man is a Minister for Catch the Fire Ministries, he calls himself a Christian but is using human misery to peddle his beliefs). It saddens me that people are using this tragedy to point fingers, score political points and scam people.
If you do wish to do anything (donate money, clothes, shelter, look after animals, etc) this website is a good starting point – The Victorian Bushfires: Other ways to give