Responding to Australia’s Bushfires

January 23, 2020

Yanderra_Bushfire-credit Helitak430-800x470.jpg

Australia Bushfire
© Wikimedia Commons [Helitak430]

Despite experiencing some relief through recent rain and thunderstorms, Australia’s historic bushfires continue to impact the country. The blazes started in September 2019 and have since taken the lives of more than 30 people, destroyed over 2,000 homes, and scorched more than 10 million hectares of land. Though the rain has been helpful, the fire season is far from over with several more months left.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has been in communication with Corporate2Community to better understand how individuals and companies can support the immediate response and long-term recovery efforts in Australia. Corporate2Community has provided a list of organizations accepting donations for those interested in supporting Australia’s bushfire relief. If you would like to specifically support small businesses that have been affected, Corporate2Community has created a needs-led platform to connect products and services to small businesses looking for support. You may learn more about small business relief on their site.

A number of U.S.-based and multi-national companies have already committed to supporting communities and organizations in Australia. Here is how a few companies have chosen to respond:

  • UPS is providing support in Australia through the American Red Cross and the Australian Red Cross, The Salvation Army, and the World Wildlife Fund to help meet essential needs.
  • New York Life has pledged their support to Global Giving’s Australian Wildfire Relief Fund. 
  • Coca-Cola launched a limited edition of its ‘Share a Coke with’ cans, celebrating the Australian firefighters who have been working tirelessly throughout the bushfire crisis. The ‘Share a Coke with the Firies’ cans were announced alongside a range of donations to be made by The Coca-Cola Foundation, Coca-Cola Australia, and Coca-Cola Amatil to The Salvation Army, the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, the Country Fire Authority Victoria, and the South Australian Country Fire Service Foundation. The cans will not be available for sale, but donated straight to firefighters, volunteer fire organizations, and fire-affected communities.
  • eBay Australia is hosting a special auction with actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge for a custom tuxedo she wore to this month’s Golden Globes awards ceremony. Funds from the winning bid will be split among the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief & Recovery Fund, the WIRES Wildlife Rescue Emergency Fund, and Wildlife Victoria. Additionally, U.S. shoppers can donate directly to charities helping with the Australian wildfire disaster relief efforts through eBay for Charity’s ‘Gifts That Give Back’ program.

The U.S. Chamber Foundation works with the private sector to improve the efficacy of corporate giving during times of disasters, breaking down information and coordination barriers between sectors, and highlighting the unique work of corporate citizens in the field. If your company is supporting Australia’s bushfire relief efforts, you can let us know by sending an email to bnelson@uschamber.com.