How to donate to the Australia fires — and make sure it counts

Australia is currently in the midst of one of its most devasting fire seasons to date, with the blazes claiming at least 25 lives, destroying thousands of homes and leaving the nation with what is currently the world’s worst air quality.

On top of that, the millions of dying animals and countless celebrities pouring money into the crisis may have you trying to figure out how you can help. But it’s important to know exactly where your money is going — especially as there is seemingly no end in sight for Australia’s dire situation.

So where should you donate? Here’s a list of some of the most reliable causes, so you can ensure your giving will help make a difference.

How to help families displaced by the fires

The Australian Red Cross has volunteers at numerous evacuation and recovery centers throughout the country, and is also using donations to provide grants to those who have lost their homes.

Salvation Army Australia is a similarly overarching cause worth considering, as the organization is providing shelter and meals for both evacuees and the responders who are rescuing them.

The St. Vincent de Paul Society of Australia is providing food, clothing and basic essentials to those who have lost their homes, as well as money to help families pay bills related to the disaster.

How to help Australia’s wildlife

WIRES, an Australia-based wildlife fund, has launched a fundraiser to help rescue and support the animals injured and displaced by the fires.

There are also several fundraising pages for individual animal rescue groups, such as Port Macquarie Koala Hospital and the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital

How to help the emergency responders

The New South Wales Rural Fire Service, which has worked to combat a large portion of the fires, has a donation fund dedicated to those working in the disaster. Similarly, the Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland has a donation page for those working in Australia’s second-largest province.

Singer Keith Urban, who pledged $500,000 to help with the fires, also shared a list of firefighter services that have been involved in the battle.

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