How to Support on a Shoestring

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Since September of 2019 our Instagram feeds have been flooded with distressing images of the devastating wildfires that have already destroyed 24.7 million acres of Australia’s bush, forest and parks, and continue to burn ferociously across the country today. Alongside the graphic images of firefighters struggling to control the massive blazes, we have also been bombarded with tragic scenes of the animals that have been caught up in this disaster, with current figures reporting that in excess of half a billion are already dead. These images are being used to encourage us all to help support Australia in their time of need. However, I know that whilst I have a strong desire to help in some way, these images have personally led me to feel quite helpless and guilty. Being a student myself, I know that often we have limited funds, with all our money accounted for. However, since being almost ambushed with an abundance of images that are painful to look at, I have found myself debating as to whether or not I should be donating money (that quite frankly I don’t have) to help support Australia, in their mission to rescue and save as much of their wildlife as possible and to hopefully put an end to these monstrous fires. 

I am sure that many of you can relate to feeling this way when scrolling through your Instagram or Twitter feeds. This is why I am going to be showing you some ways that you can show your compassion and support, without having to put yourself in a sticky situation financially. First of all, something that we can all do is follow the Instagram page @plantatreeco. This is a page that was set up to raise awareness about the fires and it has received a huge amount of engagement. All you need to do to show your support, is repost their post and for every 100 people that do, they will be donating one dollar to @nswrfs. By doing this, you are helping to donate money to the NSW Rural Fire Service without having to reach into your own pocket. Another benefit to reposting their post is that it means that the word is being spread to a greater audience and so more and more people can help donate. 

Another way that we are able to help without breaking the bank is to join the Facebook or Instagram group @RescueCraftCo. This page was set up by Morgan Leigh, who started making blankets and pouches, to help care for injured animals. Her aim is to receive donations from people all across the world, including items as insignificant as an old flannel or t-shirt that can be used as blanket.  Alternatively, if you’re feeling creative, like Lauren Helge, from Philadelphia, what about making crochet nests for injured and orphaned birds and rodents. Why not get creative, showing your support for the Australian bushfire victims doesn’t have to be all about donating money.  

Hannah Isham