Community generosity shines through during bushfire crisis

FUNDRAISER: Members of the Region 4 CFS collecting donations at the Cinema Augusta Bushfire Appeal. Photo: Supplied.
FUNDRAISER: Members of the Region 4 CFS collecting donations at the Cinema Augusta Bushfire Appeal. Photo: Supplied.

There has been a global outpouring of generosity during Australia's bushfire crisis, with plenty of support coming from regional communities across the country.

Port Augusta is no different, with new self motivated fundraising efforts sprouting up every day.

Business Port Augusta Chairperson Darren Sherriff remarked on the generosity and support of the local community.

"The effects of these bushfires are upon us all, and even after the fires have past we all will feel the continued impacts that these fires have sadly left behind," he said.

"Port Augusta, the people, and the business owners, have traditionally been strong at standing together to support those in need, and again we are seeing this great generosity provided to many in need around our nation that have been tragically impacted by the current bushfires."

Among many initiatives is local baker Tara Savill, who in partnership with Coles, raised more than $5000 through a recent bake sale.

Central Augusta Football Club are donating $2 to the Kangaroo Bushfire Appeal from every full serve main course meal sold on Friday nights until the end of the month.

South Augusta Football Club are hosting a T20 cricket match on January 26, followed by a fundraising dinner with all proceeds donated to the Kangaroo Island fire relief efforts.

While Kelly Thompson and friends have been collecting trailer loads of donations for wildlife rescue centres, with supplies donated by business and community members alike.

"They were totally blown away by how much we had and the quality of supplies that people donated," Ms Thompson said.

"We had two Prado's full inside and then two large trailers full! Everyone has just been so amazing."

But the largest community fundraiser comes in the form of Cinema Augusta's Bushfire Appeal.

The event raised close to $12,000, with almost every business in town digging deep to donate raffle prizes or to simply hand over a cheque.

"The support from the people of Port Augusta was incredible," Event organiser Sam Johnson said.

"When it comes to a genuine cause, quite often you don't even need to ask; people just give.

A packed-out Cinema Augusta foyer before the sold-out event.

A packed-out Cinema Augusta foyer before the sold-out event.

Donations were collected by CFS members during the Cinema Augusta Bushfire Appeal.

Donations were collected by CFS members during the Cinema Augusta Bushfire Appeal.

"That's one thing I found when asking for things for the raffle, you get halfway through your spiel and before you can even finish they are handing you something."

During the ongoing crisis, our eyes have been glued to the bushfire coverage with many feeling helpless wondering: "What can I do?"

For more information about Red Cross Australia services and grants, visit www.redcross.org.au.

You can also assist the CFS Foundation by visiting www.cfsfoundation.org.au.

Furthermore, the Australian Government has made is easy and safe for people looking to donate through the National Bushfire Recovery Agency.

The agency offers a published a list of registered charities that accept tax deductible donations and bushfire appeals.