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Australia’s bushfires have brought unprecedented loss, fear and sadness to our nation and as ‘city slickers’ it’s hard not to feel guilty as our country cousins struggle with drought, fire and untold tragedy.
All is not lost, however, because the spirit of Aussie mateship is alive and well – and it is something we can teach our children right now.
Authorities have advised that donations of cash are one of the best ways to help right now. Not only will money provide emergency services with the resources they need to do what needs to be done, but it will also provide individuals and communities with the dignity they deserve as they make their own choices and spend their money with hard hit local businesses that have also been decimated.
So these school holidays, could your kids be doing something to raise some dollars to help the recovery cause?
Here’s some ideas to get you started!
Sausage sizzle or cake stall
Could you kids get together with others in the neighbourhood and organise a food focussed fund raiser?
Perhaps there’s a front yard in your neighbourhood that would make a perfect gathering spot for locals and your kids could spend their school holiday time making signs, working out the budget and arranging a letterbox drop to households that are nearby.
Not only would this exercise help your children to do something practical for victims of the bush fires, but it’s a cheeky way to keep them learning and thinking during the school holidays!
Car wash for a cause
In Sydney we have water restrictions in place that make washing cars a but tricky at the moment, but if you are located in an area where your kids have access to a hose, bucket and a bit of elbow grease, might they be able to wash cars to support the bushfire relief?
Again, with a bit of thought and some local contacts, your kids might be able to contribute a buck or two and feel good about the difference they have made.
Teddy bears’ picnic
If you are the parent or teacher of younger children, might a teddy bears’ picnic be possible at daycare, playgroup or vacation care in the coming weeks?
These kinds of events are quite easy to organise, and there’s plenty of ideas to be found online for themed games and songs. If every ‘bear’ were to bring a donation, a generous sum could be quickly gathered to give to bush fire ravaged communities in need.
Bushfires instead of birthday presents
Is your child having a birthday soon? Is a party planned with family and friends who would usually spend money on a gift?
If your child is old enough to have a conversation like this, would it be worth raising the idea of replacing this year’s gifts with a donation to your child’s preferred charity?
Some of the services doing amazing things include:
- NSW Rural Fire Service
- Victoria’s Country Fire Authority
- South Australia’s Country Fire Service
- Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery
- RSPCA Bushfire Appeal
Make some possum pouches
With the devastating loss of more than 500 million animals, wildlife warriors like WIRES and the RSPCA are doing all they can to relieve the pain and suffering of animals that are injured or have lost their habitats.
Could your kids help these holidays by sewing simple ‘pouches’ to keep these vulnerable animals safe?
When young wombats, wallabies, kangaroos, bandicoots, gliders or possums come into care they need to be kept warm and quiet. Wildlife carers are currently in need of suitable pouches that can be used for many different animals, some for two or three at once.
Click here to view a guide from GreenHeroes (an organisation dedicated to encouraging children to care for animals and their environment) that will show you and your child how to make a possum pouch (there’s lots of ideas online and videos on YouTube too)
Below are agencies who will welcome your child’s donations and support.
- Salvation Army Disaster Appeal
- St Vincent de Paul Society Bushfire Appeal (NSW)
- Bendigo Bank Bushfires Disaster Appeal (Endorsed by the Victorian Government)
- Kangaroo Island Mayor’s Relief Fund (Endorsed by the South Australian Government)
Written by Sonja Walker
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