The news has been absolutely inundated with stories of survival, and of sadness. There are so many ways you can support the survivors of this devastation, so please, even if it's just one thing, check out some of these links to see how you can help...
http://www.donateblood.com.au/ - the Australian Red Cross Blood Service's website. Book a bunk and donate blood. It doesn't even take an hour out of your day, it costs nothing and it can save so many lives. I donate blood every three months.
http://www.vinnies.org.au/ - St Vincent de Paul Society of Australia's website. Find out about donating clothes, food and money.
http://www.yahoo7.com.au/sunrise - Channel 7's breakfast program's website. Heaps and heaps of information about donating clothes, money, accommodation and breaking news about the fires
http://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/ - Victorian Country Fire Authority's website. The site is regularly updated. Apparently it's crashed several times, so they've asked if we can only check this site out if you need immediate information that isn't available on news websites
http://www.salvos.org.au/ - The Salvation Army's website. Another website that you can use to find out about donations
1800 727 077 - If you're concerned about friends or family, or if you want friends or family to know you're okay, give the Red Cross a call
1800 240 667 - The Victorian Bushfire Hotline will give you information about status of towns affected by the fires and information like school closures
180 22 11 - People affected by the bushfires are entitled to government assistance, so give them a call
If you want to make a cash donation, there are a couple of options. National Australia Bank is taking donations. You can call 1800 811 700, or make a direct transfer from your bank account to: NAB account BSB 082001 a/c 860046797
The other option is Bendigo Bank. Call 1300 366 666 or check out the website http://www.bendigobank.com.au/. Or you can call 137 258 (menu option 2)
If you're a firefighter, you're desperately needed. Contact your local fire station or the Rural Fire Brigade to find out how you can help.
As of an hour or so ago, 131 people have been confirmed perished in the fires. The disaster is being reported around the world, and thank you to my friends overseas who have contacted me to make sure my family and I are okay. We're absolutely fine and in Queensland, quite a distance from the fires. It is now officially Australia's worst buhfires in history, surpassing 1983's Ash Wednesday fires.
Please, please, please... Australia, do anything and everything you can to help.
So far over $10 million has been raised. Coles (a grocery store in Australia) will also be donating Friday's profits to the Bushfire Appeal. Apparently there is more than enough clothing, etc. The best way to help now is to donate money. And of course, the Red Cross will always welcome more blood donors. Keep going, Australia!