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Friday, January 10, 2020

Here’s How To Help Victims Of Australia’s Apocalyptic Wildfires

Here’s How To Help Victims Of Australia’s Apocalyptic Wildfires

The devastating bushfires that have been spreading across Australia for months show no signs of slowing down.

Millions of acres have burned, destroying about 2,000 homes and killing at least 25 people.

It is estimated that more than half a billion wild animals have perished in the flames — a number that is expected to exponentially increase.

Entire towns have evacuated to the shores and volunteer firefighters have left their families and careers behind to fight the flames around the clock.

Conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been widely criticized for failing to take action against the climate crisis.

As Australia attempts to battle this unprecedented national crisis, organizations need all the help they can get. CBS News has compiled an extensive list of links to agencies that would welcome your assistance to help evacuees, firefighters and wildlife.

How to help evacuees
  • Donate to the Australian Red Cross, which is supporting thousands of people in evacuation and recovery centers across the country. Local residents can volunteer their services.
  • Donate to the Salvation Army Australia, which is providing meals and support to evacuees and first responders in multiple locations.
  • Extra room in your home? Offer to host people in need of emergency housing on AirBnB.
  • Donate to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, which is helping evacuated families recover. The organization is providing food and clothing, helping cover bills, and donating household items to those whose homes have been destroyed.
  • Donate food, funds or services to Foodbank, the largest hunger-relief charity in Australia.
  • Donate to a GoFundMe dedicated to displaced First Nations Communities that need to rebuild.
  • Donate food, toiletries and household items using Givit.

How to help firefighters

How to help wildlife
  • Donate to WIRES, a wildlife rescue nonprofit that is rescuing and caring for thousands of sick, injured and orphaned native animals.
  • Donate to the World Wildlife Fund Australia, which is directing its efforts towards koala conservation.
  • Donate to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital's GoFundMe, which has rescued and treated dozens of koalas suffering from severe burns. The hospital is using donations to install automatic drinking stations in burnt areas to help wildlife searching for water and to establish a wild koala breeding program to ensure the survival of the species.
  • Donate to the RSPCA New South Wales, which is helping evacuate, rescue and treat pets and wildlife in threatened areas.

How ViacomCBS is helping

ViacomCBS has donated to relief efforts and encourages everyone who would like to give back to look to the Salvation Army, Red Cross and WIRES — Australia’s largest wildlife rescue and rehabilitation charity– for opportunities to help.

In addition, ViacomCBS employees are working across the company to cover the disaster and amplify on-the-ground efforts. Some of these efforts include:
  • Nickelodeon superstar JoJo Siwa is activating fundraising activities at all of her performances to collect donations for the Salvation Army Emergency Services and WIRES. Nick Helps is working on creating a website so kids around the world can learn more about the NGOs helping Australia’s wildlife.
  • Paramount Pictures held charity screenings of Playing With Fire at select major and independent cinemas in Eastern Australia to support communities where people have lost their homes or need to find shelter. On Jan. 26, the G’Day USA Australia Film Industry Showcase will be hosted on the Paramount Pictures lot, with all proceeds from the event benefiting those affected by the bushfires.
  • CBS News has been actively covering the fires and providing information on relief efforts. The hosts of CBS’s The Talk discussed the fires during Tuesday’s show and directed viewers to donate to the RSPCA of New South Wales with a link on CBS Cares PSAs are being produced and will air on the network Jan. 9 directing viewers to CBSCares.TV where they can learn about relief efforts. Also, The Price Is Right included a CTA in Tuesday’s broadcast encouraging viewers to donate to the Red Cross or the WWF.
  • MTV News reported on the fire and continued coverage on the MTV Snapchat feed with a roundup of celebrity posts encouraging viewers to donate to the Red Cross.
  • During Tuesday’s episode of Comedy Central’s Lights Out with David Spade, the talk show host encouraged fans to donate to the Red Cross, WIRES and The Trustee for New South Wales Rural Fire Service & Brigades Donations Fund.
  • Several authors from Simon & Schuster are raising money for relief efforts by participating in #AuthorsForFireys on Twitter by auctioning off rare copies of their books and offering writing advice to fans.
  • Channel 5 in the UK is airing a special on the bushfires in collaboration with Channel 10 news.
  • Network 10 in Australia is providing extensive coverage on the fires, with 6 hours of daily live news and support coverage on all platforms. Additionally, they are matching proceeds towards celebrities’ charities as part of I’m A Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here show voting with regular CTAs during the episodes.
  • ViacomCBS Networks International in the UK is encouraging other global regions to repost the MTV News and Network 10 articles in their social feeds.
  • Along with a social roundup of country music artists encouraging fans to support Australia, CMT News has covered musician Keith Urban’s personal experience with fires in Australia.

“We will continue to find ways to empower our employees and elevate voices around this tragic event,” ViacomCBS said Thursday in a statement.

Originally published: Thursday, January 9, 2020 at 23:19 GMT.

H/T: CBS New York WLNY 1055.

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