While other matters have been getting more attention, the bushfire disaster in the New South Wales and Victoria states of Australia is only getting worse and truly deserves our attention.
Major media outlets report that the bushfires so far have caused at least 28 fatalities, burned 25 million acres of land, destroyed 3,000 homes, and caused the death of as many as 500,000 wild animals.
All of these facts are actually only estimates as many expect more bad news to come from the devastating fires.
In response to the crisis, the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), based in Sydney, reports that it has made an immediate $500,000 donation to the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund, which is working to help communities affected by the worst fire season in Australia’s history.
The ASX’s Red Cross donation is “in addition to the $20,000 financial donation made to the Salvation Army Disaster Relief Fund and the NSW Rural Fire Service in November last year, matching employee donations and increasing support for employee volunteering activities,” according to ASX officials.
“Rebuilding devastated communities, businesses, wildlife and infrastructure will require a sustained long-term commitment,” says Dominic Stevens, CEO and managing director for the ASX, in a prepared statement.
“With extreme fire conditions continuing to threaten communities and the fire season far from over, the immediate need to assist the bushfire response and affected communities continues alongside rebuild and recovery planning,” Stevens says. “For now, our thoughts remain with all of those affected by the bushfires and for the thousands of volunteers working to keep lives and property safe.”
The ASX has also:
- Matched donations of up to $500 made by ASX employees to registered charities;
- Supported employee fundraising activities with an ASX Giving drive;
- And increased paid volunteering leave from one to two days for all employees, in addition to the 20 days leave entitlement for members of voluntary emergency services agencies.
Many other financial services-related organizations and individuals beyond the securities-trading world are donating and/or raising money to help Australians recover from these horrific circumstances.
In the days and months ahead, this crisis will spur many political and related debates. But, for now, rescue, relief and recovery are on the top of everyone’s list.
More about the efforts of the Red Cross in Australia and the many ways to donate can be found here: https://twitter.com/RedCrossAU
The WWF has set up the Australian Wildlife and Nature Recovery Fund to help deal with the “thousands of koalas and other iconic species such as kangaroos, wallabies, kookaburras, cockatoos and honeyeaters burnt alive, and many thousands more injured and homeless.”
The link to donate is here http://bit.ly/35SaOWT