Australia on Fire: What we’re doing to help
The world has watched with horror as bushfires have devastated Australia, leaving thousands homeless and killing at least 28 people and an estimated one billion of animals. Fueled by record-breaking temperatures and months of severe drought, fire crews have been working for months to tackle the blazes and prevent the destruction left in its wake.
The scale of Australia’s unprecedented crisis has prompted a wave of philanthropic responses around the world, with people, including politicians and celebrities, coming together to help with emergency relief. As a company, we too have been bashing our heads together to see what we can do to raise awareness and pledge a contribution.
How we’re raising awareness
The initiative began with Barbara – our very own Aussie and content creator. Raised in Sydney, Barbara is directly affected by the events unfolding and was eager to utilize her connection, insight and experience of the country to raise awareness both within and out of the company. She began with a company-wide update through which she shared details of the bushfires, the impact they’ve had on both her and her country, and what we could do to get involved.
We asked her to share some of these with us today:
Hi Barbara! What makes Australia a uniquely special place to live?
There are a lot of things that were and still are special about Australia, but for me, being a nature lover, I would have to say it is the diversity of the landscape. You have some of the prettiest beaches on the planet, fantastic bush walking trails, snowy mountains and a dry desert center. Even though I didn’t get to explore everything in my 26 years of living there, I had a lot of adventures. I loved the relaxed lifestyle, the people, the food and the warm weather. I miss the sound of cicadas!
Australia has obviously been facing severe drought this last year - was it the same when you lived there?
Yes! Some years were worse than others but the summer heat (ranging from extremely dry to 90% humidity) was something that was a part of life. There were years in which the drought was so severe that you could only water your garden for a few minutes in the evening and if you needed water at home you had to be careful not to waste it. If the farmers were out of water, you could tell by how much was available at the supermarket.
What is your favorite memory of Australia?
My favorite memory of Australia was going competitive ocean swimming with my friend Nell in which thousands of people would participate and swim between 1 to 3 kilometers out to sea and back. I also loved bush walking, visiting waterfalls and going four-wheel driving on beaches that seemed endless.
What do you think can be done to support the bushfire tragedy?
A significant way to contribute to the bush fire effort is not only by donating, but also by booking a holiday to Australia later in the year to support local economies that were hit hardest. I’m glad the world is waking up to the extremes of an increasing temperatures and we can all do our bit for the environment - whether that be by donating to countries and communities that have been struck down by natural/man-made disasters or by changing our habits when it comes to waste reduction.
In addition to Barbara’s initiative, we at 360 Digital Starters directly donated $1,250 to Australia's emergency relief, which has been split equally across three chosen charities: WWF, WIRES and the Australian Red Cross. But that’s not all…
Together with your help, we rallied together to do what we could during this time of natural disaster. So, for every person that completed our specially crafted 10-question quiz, we added an additional $0,01 to the total donation. Thanks to your help we raised a total $1633,86 for our three chosen charities.
*Please note that this campaign is no longer live and that all existing donations have been sent to our three chosen charities.