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Re: Bushfires: How to cope

Hey @Esperanza67 

 

Thanks so much for raising this. I think a lot of people are feeling how you are, at the moment. First of all, I want to acknowledge that I'm sure you have already made an impact with what you have donated already. Be proud of yourself for being the type of person who helps in these times, without people like you it would be very hard for communities to rebuild. 

 

Secondly, there are lots of different ways you can help without donating. I saw an awesome post on visiting, spending money, in the smaller towns that have been hit, once the fire season is over. Communities will be rebuilding for quite some time and so there is a lot you could do when people start to move on from this crisis. 

 

The last suggestion I'll make here, is to read about all the work that is being done. Remember that lots of people are dedicating time, energy and resources to help those impacted. It's helps to remember that rebuilding will be a collective effort that many people are happy to contribute to Heart 

 

I'd love to see what other suggestions people have too!

 

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Re: Bushfires: How to cope

Hi @Esperanza67 , 

 

I hear you, it's been such a tough time, and my heart goes out to those communities that are having to rebuild, with no real end in sight to the threat of the fires. It's really heartbreaking. 

 

I have some family and friends living in fire-affected areas, and one thing that they've really gotten behind is a few campaigns that have been created to help support small businesses recovering from the fires - even if you're not in a position to buy stuff at the moment, sharing the posts and increasing their reach does have a tangible benefit for those communities. Some of the tourist towns really rely heavily on the business over summer to sustain them through the year and losing that has been really tough. 

 

Turia Pitt has started an amazing campaign called Spend With Them.

There's a brief article about it here - she's from a small town on the south coast and also famously survived horrendous injuries from a fire herself. 

 

I also know a lot of people have been knitting pouches for orphaned kangaroos etc, but I just heard that they have been so overwhelmed by the generosity of people making donations that they've actually asked people to pause for a bit. 

 

And one thing I'm planning on doing as soon as I can is making a road trip to the South Coast here in NSW as soon as it's all safe again - I know that a lot of areas are really missing the tourist trade, and visiting them as soon as things are up and running again is great for the morale of those towns as well as a tangible way to help by supporting local businesses. 

 

I hear you - I have been feeling pretty down about it all at times as well ,I think it's a natural response. It's been a terrible time for so many people - but I've also been really heartened by the amazing community spirit that has been shown in so many tiny, and huge, ways by Australians since this all started Heart 

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Re: Bushfires: How to cope

Hi there Esperanza67, thanks for sharing how you feel here and how you want to help, that's a great step to take!

I know heaps of places love it when people volunteer to knit pouches and other small goods for wildlife, or stockpile food, medical supplies and other care things for them such as soft toys/blankets/baby bottles. Maybe instead of donating money, you could donate these things if you have them?

More holistically, you can be a help without donating money or resources just by donating your time and compassion. What I mean by this is just providing a listening ear to those in need. For example, reaching out to anyone who needs a little bit of help and comfort re: bushfire related things is a good start! You could also join a community/council based fundraiser and offer your labour, and become a youth advocate by attending local council meetings that are popping up around different council areas that aim to educate people on bushfire safety.

Here are some links that may help you provide help in a way that isn't donating too:
https://www.wildlifevictoria.org.au/?view=article&id=145:helping-wildlife-during-bushfires&catid=11:...

https://www.timeout.com/melbourne/things-to-do/how-to-help-bushfire-victims-in-melbourne (look at the donating blood and to a foodbank sections)

https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/free-ways-to-support-australians-in-bushfire-zones-041825935.html


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Re: Bushfires: How to cope

Hi @Bre-RO and @Janine-RO,

Thank you both so much for your suggestions! I will definitely consider visiting some of the towns affected by the fires once it’s safe to do so to lend some of my support to them Smiley Happy

I didn’t know Turia Pitt started a campaign to help local businesses that are affected by the fires! I admire her a lot and I think she’s such an inspiration. This campaign gives me one more reason to love her even more Smiley Happy. I visited the Instagram page you gave me the link to @Janine-RO and I think it’s such a great idea that the page provided links on the online website of some retailers so you can buy their goods online!

Anyway, I think it’s so great to see so many people in Australia (and outside of Australia!) rattling their support to those affected. I’ve been trying to pay more attention to the positive/happy posts so I don’t get as distressed. I agree with you both on how there’s so, so many people lending in their support. It really is heartwarming to see Smiley Happy

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Hope is just around the corner; you think it's not there when you first look straight ahead, but it actually is when you turn around
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Re: Bushfires: How to cope

Hey @Tay100,

I just saw your post too! And thank you so much for providing me those links - I will definitely check them out Smiley Happy
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Hope is just around the corner; you think it's not there when you first look straight ahead, but it actually is when you turn around
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Re: Bushfires: How to cope

@Esperanza67  I'm so glad you found it useful, I think Turia Pitt is absolutely amazing. I read her book a couple of years ago and have followed her on instagram ever since. It's great to see her campaign take off so much, and I have heard from relatives that are in areas that were affected by the fires that it's really making a huge difference for local businesses there. I can't always afford to buy all of the pretty things I see posted there - but I have got a few things, and even sharing and liking posts helps a lot. 

 

I have also been making a real effort to focus on the good news stories lately, and I really love the thread that's on the forums here with good news posts. Otherwise the news just feels so depressing, and it's easy to feel really sad and hopeless about the state of the world. 

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Re: Bushfires: How to cope

Hi everyone, I hope you're all doing okay with all the horrible news about the bushfires. I'm especially thinking of users who may live in bushfire affected areas. Big virtual hugs to you all. I've been finding myself feeling pretty down about the fires, hearing all the bad news day after day can be pretty heartbreaking. I've been making sure to practice self care by doing some stretching if I feel a bit tense, and trying to take some breaks from social media and looking at the news so that I don't feel overwhelmed! I've donated money where I can, but I'm not in a position to donate a lot. I think sharing fundraising links on social media, or positive things that people are doing to help is also a really excellent way to help out!

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“Your now is not your forever."
― John Green, Turtles All the Way Down
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Re: Bushfires: How to cope

@MisoBear so good to hear that you're actively putting measures in place to take care of yourself. Limiting social media use is a really good one! Heart 

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Re: Bushfires: How to cope

No worries at all, I had a look at them myself as I was in a similiar situation to you and wanted to help in money-free but super productive ways as well!
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Re: Bushfires: How to cope

Hi everyone, 

 

Just thought I'd check in to see how you are all going this week?

Chippy the Dog GIF

 

I have noticed a big shift towards positive news stories, resources to help cope and ideas about how to help across social media the last two weeks. I have found that really uplifting Smiley Happy Have you seen any resources, articles or infographics around that give ideas for seeking help/support, or ways to help?

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