By Jeremy Rochow
Last updated on: January 8, 2020 at 3:33 pm
Large parts of the Adelaide Hills and Kangaroo Island have been devastated by fire in recent weeks, with people losing their lives, properties, livestock and homes.
You may feel helpless seeing images of sick wildlife and burnt shells of homes flash across your television screen, but there are ways you can help.
Whether you want to donate money to charity or offer some time to help at a relief centre, there’s no donation too small.
Here are a few ways you can directly help SA communities impacted by the fires.
Whether you donate $5 or $5000, every cent counts. There are various charities and relief funds that need donations to continue providing meals, clothing and essential services to people who’ve lost their home or been evacuated.
To help those impacted by the bushfires on Kangaroo Island, you can donate to the KI Mayoral Relief and Recovery Bushfire Fund.
The State Emergency Fund has been activated for the Cudlee Creek fire, with donations being accepted via electronic funds transfer, credit card, cash and cheque.
If you want to donate directly to our volunteer firies currently battling the blazes, you can give to the CFS Foundation.
It’s not just property and people impacted by the bushfires. Wildlife has also been hit hard by the tragic events over the past month.
You can donate to the South Australian Veterinary Emergency Management (SAVEM) which is helping with wildlife management at the Cudlee Creek fire grounds.
Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park is also taking donations to help the large number of injured koalas and other native species impacted by this event.
Note: Whoever you decide to donate to, check the charities are legitimate and beware of scammers taking advantage of the disaster.
Volunteer your time
If you’re short on cash and can’t donate to a charity or relief fund, giving your time can be just as precious.
Blaze Aid helps repair fences across Australia and is looking for volunteers for work beginning in Lobethal and on Kangaroo Island in the coming days.
You can also register your interest to help with emergency recovery at Volunteering SA & NT. Register via the WeDo app or fill out the Emergency Volunteer online form.
Volunteering SA & NT will refer potential volunteers to emergency service organisations like the CFS, SES or humanitarian organisations like Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and Samaritans.
If you don’t hear straight back after you register, don’t think you aren’t needed. The biggest need for volunteers often occurs in the weeks, months or even years following a disaster.
Helping local businesses can be as easy as investing your money into their economy.
From wine and spirits to cheese and honey, both the Adelaide Hills and Kangaroo Island offer some wonderful produce.
By purchasing these products, you’re helping local businesses get back on their feet.
If you’re not sure where to find the produce, visit the KI stall at the Adelaide Central Markets, which offers a beautiful array of products from across the island.
Top South Australians chefs have come together, with Glam Adelaide and Showcase SA to hold SA4SA Bushfire Appeal Gala Dinner at the convention centre on 31 January.
You’ll be treated to a 4-course meal along with a selection of local beer, wine and gin from South Australia. All proceeds will go to SA4SA Bushfire Appeal to help those affected by the recent bushfires.
Australian identity Turia Pitt has set up an Instagram page called @spendwiththem, to help guide people to small businesses in affected regions across the country.
Visit the regions
It could take months or even years for the Adelaide Hills and Kangaroo Island to recover, but there is still much beauty to be taken from visiting these areas and supporting the affected communities with your tourism dollar.
Once the bushfire threat has passed and it’s safe, you should visit these regions, stay in their hotels, drink their wine, eat at their restaurants and see what they have to offer.
This will help pump money into their economy and get them back on their feet quicker.
RAA’s thoughts remain with those affected by the bushfires, particularly to the families who have lost loved ones in the devastation.