I need to write something more about the response to the bushfires.
There have been millions of dollars pledged to support services from both in Australia and internationally. Everyone has come together, from kids in the street baking and selling off cookies to raise funds, right up to big-name sportsmen, entertainers and business figures donating millions of dollars. There’re charity drives and auction events, as well as one-off concert and sporting events with all proceeds going to the supporting charities.
Offers have flooded in from governments abroad offering any assistance possible, and fighting the fires is a multi-national force of firefighters from Australia, New Zealand, the US and Canada, and doubtless others.
At my work, as it is the case for hundreds of other organisations, we have set up hotlines for those affected. We’ve begun fund-raising events across the business, with the company pledging to match our donations dollar for dollar. Business’ across the country have made donations or pledged profits.
I’m part of a local community group coordinated through Facebook that has been quickly put together. I watch with wonder as they organise the different activities. Initially, it was donations of food, water and clothing. Then a whole battalion of people hopped on their sewing machines to make pouches and mittens for the wildlife injured in the fires. Others are making protein balls for the injured animals, thousands of them, and sourcing gum leaves for the koalas to feed on. Food packs are prepared for the firefighters, each with a message of support included in them. Others volunteer to deliver all this to those who need it. And this is just one community group – there must be dozens more.
I’ve done not much else but watch and offer my moral support. I know that a lot of people think me cool and nonchalant, and I’ve been guilty of being cynical over the last year – but I’m inspired by this activity. We see the best of human nature when our community is threatened, and instinct drives us to help each other out.
I needed this. I doubted, but now much of my faith has been restored. These are terrible times, but the response has been glorious,
In the classic words of Jeff Fenech, I loves you all.