There is surely not a single person in Donegal who doesn’t have family or friends in Australia. It is therefore no surprise as we watch the catastrophic fires destroying thousands of homes and displacing countless people that we want to reach out and help.
But what can we do?
There are numerous online fundraising pages, but it can be hard to know who to trust, how to ensure that the money goes to those most in need.
Donegal Town woman Deborah Bonner has been in contact with friends on the ground in one of the worst affected regions. She has been told that the best organisation for donations is the Australian Red Cross.
Ms Bonner and the Donegal Dragons watersports club will therefore hold a fundraising event, with all proceeds going to the Australian Red Cross.
A coffee morning / cake sale will take place in the St Patrick’s Centre (Parish Centre), Donegal Town on Sunday, January 19 from 12.00 noon to 1.00pm.
Ms Bonner said: “We really want to do something to help those people. It is hard to imagine what they must be going through and how frightening it is for them.
“We have had a great response to this fundraiser so far.”
Anyone coming along can look forward to delicious home bakes and other items. There will also be second hand books for sale and some fantastic raffle prizes up for grabs.
Anyone who would like to donate baked goods or raffle prizes can contact the Donegal Dragons via Facebook Messenger.
More information and updates can be found on the Facebook event page Help Us Help Australia.
Another fundraiser being organised locally offers people the chance to win some incredible surf-related prizes.
It is being run by Noah Lane, an Australian living in Bundoran.
On his GoFundMe page ‘Surf Community For Australian Bush Fire Relief’ he said: “As an Australian living in Ireland, I wanted to appeal to the Irish, UK and European surf and wider community, many of whom have enjoyed holidays to the affected areas or have friends affected and struggling through this tough time.
“The fundraiser is in support of the Australian Red Cross and Wildlife Rescue South Coast, split equally.
“The Australian Red Cross are offering real-time, on-ground support to people affected by the fires and the Wildlife Rescue South Coast is a 100% volunteer-run organisation dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of Australian Native Fauna in NSW, one of the heaviest hit areas.”
Anyone who donates €5 or more through the GoFundMe page is in with a chance to win a surf-related prize package valued at well over €2,000.
If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Donegal Live editorial team any time. To contact Donegal Democrat and Donegal People's Press, email email@example.com To contact Donegal Post, email firstname.lastname@example.org To contact Inish Times, email email@example.com.
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.