With fires ravaging Australia, many college students in Oregon may feel we are doomed to just sit by and watch as families, communities, and wildlife are displaced and endangered. However, not all donations have to break the budget in order to make a real impact. 

the Australian Red Cross makes direct donations toward impacted communities and families.  Currently, the Australian Red Cross is focusing on raising emergency grants for families who have lost homes or loved ones.

“Our experience at Red Cross in emergencies is that donations of money, where possible, help affected communities recover sooner,” said Australian Red Cross Consultant, Lindsay, who was unable to disclose her last name due to their confidentiality policies. “This is because people can make their own choices – including purchasing the goods they need for their own families.”

All online donations to the Australian Red Cross are accepted as Australian dollars, and all donors will receive a tax-deductible receipt via email, according to their website. Donations are also accepted over the phone or through a check/mail order sent to their address in Melbourne.

We have had donations coming in from all over the world,” fellow Consultant, Joe, shared. “Which offers both financial support to those in need, as well as the knowledge that people are watching internationally and care.”

Australian fire departments are also deeply in need of financial donations to support their relief efforts. Students can donate online to the NSW Rural Fire Service. 

For students looking for an unconventional way to donate, At Necropolis Tattoo in Forest Grove, Tattoo Apprentice Jenny Thurlo is offering flash tattoos of impacted Australian wildlife at $30 per hour. The funds raised from this will be split and donated to the NSW Rural Fire Service and WIRES, an organization dedicated to preserving Australian wildlife. 

“I have friends that live  [in Australia], so I’m definitely really worried,” Thurlo explained. “It’s something that I want to help out with, and it’s what I can do.

Thurlo is only accepting cash payment for her flash tattoos, and is offering a myriad of designs including echidnas, alligators, platypuses and more. You can contact her to schedule an appointment on her Instagram account @jayteeeart. 

For students over the age of 21, ‘Australia Needs Help, A Valentine’s Day Fundraiser’ will take place on Feb. 14 at 9 p.m at Pythian Studios, located at 918 SW Yamhill St. in Portland. The night is jam packed with live music, specialty cocktails, bento-style Island Barbeque food, and special guest Ishani Ishaya, a fusion belly dancer and fire performer. 

“We’ve done almost a dozen sold out events in this space. We’re also stoked on our lineup.” Communications Director for event runners King and Queen Presents, Molly Jaben, said. “We’re all together on this mission and it feels great to have support from artists of this caliber.”

“As a group we are passionate about animals, climate change, and unity,” Jaben said. “We believe we’re all in this together, where if one goes, we all go. The koala population has been decimated by the wildfires, making it a critical time to support groups like Australian Koala Foundation.”

Tickets for this event are available to purchase online. They range from $15-$20. 

Donating to a cause doesn’t just need to be done through a website; it can also be a night of dancing or matching tattoos. For students concerned about Australia, these fundraisers prove giving money can’t also lead to a great experience.

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