Burnt-out bush land surrounds the Princes Highway in Ulladulla, NSW, Thursday, January 2, 2020.
Burnt-out bush land surrounds the Princes Highway in Ulladulla, NSW, Thursday, January 2, 2020.

How to help victims of the deadly bushfires

BUSHFIRES have dominated the news headlines for months and it is hard to ignore the suffering and despair of victims.

For those people wishing to help in some way, there are several options available locally.

The Salvation Army is taking donations and people can either drop into the Cannonvale shop, in William Murray Drive, or donate online.

Store manager Dee Fraser said monetary donations were preferable due to the cost of freighting items, and also the 'on-the-ground' Salvation Army personnel could buy what was required for each individual family.

"With monetary donations we can make sure the help gets to where it's needed and the affected families can buy what they need," she said.

"Not only is freight expensive but a lot of the highways are closed and we don't want to put ourselves, and others, at risk."

Ms Fraser said Salvation Army personnel had been on-the-ground in the worst hit areas lending support.

"It's absolutely horrendous down there. Families are distressed - some of them missed Christmas and New Year completely - so the Salvation Army is delivering gifts as well as necessities.

"Donations do not have to be a huge amount - $20 goes a long way."

People can donate to the Salvation Army bushfire appeal online here.

Secretary for the St Vincent de Paul St Thomas's Conference of Cannonvale, Lane Telford, agreed that monetary donations were preferable.

"We do have an appeal going, and we would prefer money, so that our centres down south can then distribute that as required," she said.

"They can use the money to buy vouchers for people affected by the fires, so they can buy what they need, depending on their circumstances."

Donations by credit card can be made here, or by calling 13 18 12.

For those wishing to help the animals burnt in the fires, the team at Fauna Rescue Whitsunday are coordinating a collection of medical items to send to carers in fire ravaged areas.

Volunteer Barb Adamson said she was 'blown away' by how many items were donated at the end of last year and urged people to keep giving.

"We sent seven pallets of supplies on trucks to the fire affected areas, with the last one going just before Christmas," Mrs Adamson said.

"We sent medical supplies for the animals, as well as gifts for the carers.

"If there's people that would like to give, then we will certainly sort the boxes out and send them where they are needed.

"Apparently, it can take 10 months for koalas to recover from their burns, so they could run out of supplies. We are still sewing pouches and mittens and we are building up stocks for when they are needed again."

The supplies needed include good quality bird food, syringes and saline, feeding bottles and teats, general medical supplies, baby wipes (great for baby wildlife), paw paw ointment, Sorbolene and pure vitamin E cream.

Drop-off points for the supplies are at 7 Teague Terrace, Cannonvale, 1752 Conway Road, Conway, and 15 Fuller Street, Proserpine (supplies can be dropped off in the boxes outside the properties at any time) and Whitsunday Pharmacy at Whitsunday Shopping Centre. For enquiries, call Mrs Adamson on 0458 525 700.


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