Every time I turn on the TV, it hits me how devastating the fires really are. 173 human deaths so far, countless animal casualties, 760 homes destroyed beyond repair (just ash) and whole towns are now restricted crime scenes. It hurts. It just hurts. I think Julie from Bush Baby Jag sums up my deepest thoughts. She writes:
"I'm sure there is not one Aussie who is not aware of the devastating circumstances in Victoria at the moment. We've heard and watched on TV the tragic loss of lives, homes and livelihoods. We've seen the heartbreaking images of homes, properties and towns burnt to the ground. We've seen burnt out cars on the side of the road in which lives were lost. We've seen people who were lucky enough to escape these infernos return to find their homes reduced to ashes & rubble. We've cried with and for them, as we've seen the heartbreak on their faces. We've been watching the terrible death toll rise by the hour. We also know there are many more people missing. There are no words to describe how monumental this disaster really is.
No, I'm not really ashamed to be an Aussie. I know how we rally around and stick together in times of crisis. I know how we all reach out and lend a hand. I know how we offer comfort to total strangers. I also know how those who can barely afford to, somehow find a way to dig deep and make donations. This is the Aussie Spirit that I love so much!! This is who we are.
The Red Cross has set up an appeal for the victims of the bushfires. Many of us have made donations. I hope many more do!
I'd just like to ask everyone to spare a thought for all the animals who have suffered, and those who are still suffering. While our first thought is to help our fellow man, sometimes the animals can be overlooked. There are stock, wildlife and family pets who are in desperate need of our help. These poor creatures don't have a voice like we do. They are unable to ask for, or even seek help. Many are displaced, orphaned and suffering terrible injuries and burns. Just the thought of this absolutely breaks my heart. I have and will continue to cry many tears for these innocent, helpless creatures."Please spare a thought and a prayer to the W.I.R.E.S foundation, who have also been devastated by this tragedy with two of their shelters burnt to the ground.
You can go here to make a donation, or call 1300 94535. All donations over $2 are tax deductable.