How our Inner West community can help bushfire-affected families

How our Inner West community can help bushfire-affected families

In the face of catastrophic bushfires in NSW and elsewhere around Australia, the response from communities around the country and overseas has been overwhelming. However, much of the country remains in drought and the fire season is far from over. Our friends in regional NSW still need as much help as they can get. Here are some of the ways Inner West residents can help our bushfire-affected neighbours in NSW.

Help with accommodation

Residents in the Inner West might have a spare bedroom in their own home they could offer, or even own a holiday house or rental property that’s vacant. Link up with people looking for accommodation, or help out friends or family by finding somewhere for them to stay at Findabed. This great resource helps house people and even pets. It’s also a way to find practical assistance, such as tradespeople who may be available to help repair or rebuild property damaged by the bushfires.

Help rebuild bushfire-stricken communities

The City of Canada Bay’s Men’s Shed has long been an invaluable community resource. As a way of offering essential practical support to our regional neighbours, the Men’s Shed has set up a donation scheme. Just drop off any gardening or workshop tools and they’ll deliver them to people in bushfire-stricken areas doing it tough.

Image Source: Australian Men’s Shed Association 

Help support regional businesses

First and foremost, get out to those NSW regional areas and spend your hard-earned cash! Our NSW towns, villages and coastal communities need all the help they can get to get back on their feet. One simple and practical way of bringing money into a community is the Empty Esky initiative. Simply pack an empty esky (or a great big suitcase!) and shop when you arrive at your destination. Join the campaign through Facebook and Instagram to get the word out.

Can’t travel to regional NSW right now but still want to offer practical financial support? Hop online and support small regional businesses. You’ll find everything from kids’ toys and clothing to unique handmade ceramics and homewares at Buy From the Bush. And make sure to double your impact by sharing your experience on social media.

There have also been countless losses to the bushfires in NSW’s wine regions. Decades of nurturing have literally gone up in smoke and many wineries will take years to recover. More than a Good Drop has been launched recently by Mastermind Consulting, an Inner West business that’s worked with many of these small, often family-run, operations for years. The idea is simple – get online and order a case of wine. While their vines may be damaged or destroyed completely, most wineries still have plenty of wine to sell and will need all the financial support they can get to restock and recover.

Help people close to home

The reduced air quality from bushfire smoke is having an effect far beyond regional Australia, with hazardous smoke haze hanging over greater Sydney for days at a time. Fortunately, there’s plenty of regularly updated information available. You can access local radio services, such as the ABC, a reputable website, or download one of many apps available, such as the AirVisual Air Quality Forecast.

Those susceptible to poor air quality, such as people with heart conditions or asthma, the young and the aged, are generally advised to stay indoors, so there’s plenty you can do to help right on your own doorstep. Check in regularly on elderly or infirm neighbours, family and friends to ensure they’re safe and well. They may also need help with shopping or other chores.

Image Source: Buy From the Bush

Help support our volunteers

Finally, whether it’s by offering a helping hand, money, clothing or food, Inner West residents can make a huge difference to families, their pets and their livestock by supporting volunteer and charitable organisations in their tireless work. These include:

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