Bushfire Appeal for Southern Highlands
As of January 8, the season’s devastating bushfires have burned through more than 5 million hectares across the country and have claimed at least 23 lives. Fires have directly affected communities in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia, with smoke affecting the ACT and reaching to New Zealand and South America.
The generosity that has poured out to affected communities has been overwhelming. One fundraiser for the New South Wales Fire Service, begun by Australian comedian Celeste Barber, has raised in excess of $47 million for the NSW Fire Service. Other organisations working in the fire grounds, supporting evacuations centres and wildlife care, have also seen an outpouring of support.
But after the embers die down comes the slow task of rebuilding. The physical rebuilding of homes and businesses is the most apparent sign of recovery. However, it is the unseen areas of recovery for which we ask for your support.
Recovery is about more than the tangible. It is about those small needs of each individual and family that pop up following a crisis, such as paying a phone bill or buying a pair of school shoes. It is about needing to pay the subscription to MYOB before a business has reopened. These are the needs that large organisations or relief programs from banks and government can fail to meet, either by red tape or simply a lack of connection with individuals.
There is no one size fits all approach to recovery. Those numbers above have dominated headlines and are all about demonstrating the mass of damage caused by these fires. In communicating the scale of the crisis we risk generalising bushfire victims at a time when the people in these affected communities need individual assistance.
The MSC Mission Office has been considering how we can best help those in need, respecting those in bushfire affected communities as individuals, not numbers. We have partnered with MSC schools and Parishes in the Southern Highlands to identify families who need assistance so that we can give directly to those families.
Select Australia->‘Bushfire Appeal’ when making your donation and we can direct your support to affected families in the Southern Highlands.