All The Good To Come From NYE 2019
As bushfires rage across the country and controversy continues over New Year's Eve firework displays, the decade's end has also seen Aussies do a lot of good for worthy causes.
While Christmas is known for being a time of giving, the New Year's break has seen charities received some much-needed support.
This summer has seen firefighters battle some of the hardest conditions ever seen, and support for our volunteers has never been more important.
“Our rural fire brigades provide more than just emergency services, they are embedded in the local community, but over the past few months, firefighters have gone above and beyond to protect local communities and those further afield.
“Any donations are greatly received and much appreciated by local fire brigades and services,” an RFS spokesperson said.
Sydney's only New Year's Eve music festival, NYE In The Park, have announced the cancellation of their own midnight fireworks display after consulting ticket holders and stakeholders. The financial resources from the cancelled fireworks will instead be redirected towards the New South Wales RFS.
There's been an uptick of donations from across Australia, not just from communities directly affected by fires.
Local Councils, caught up in the debate over firework displays, have also made donations towards the RFS.
"Rather than cancelling New Year's Eve, we’ve donated $620,000 to support communities and wildlife impacted by bushfire and drought and offered our trucks and staff to help emergency services with clean-up and recovery efforts," City of Sydney's Website said.
After deciding to cancel local firework displays, Parramatta Council announced that they would donate to the Rural Fire Service.
“Council is making a $10,000 donation to the NSW Rural Fire Service to support their fantastic work. I encourage members of our community to do what they can to support our state’s firefighters at this challenging time,” City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Bob Dwyer said.
In the wake of the controversy regarding the announcement that the Sydney Harbour fireworks will go ahead, Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore has said the celebration will also raise funds for the Australian Red Cross.
Cr Moore said phone numbers where people can donate to the Red Cross' Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund would be projected onto the bridge.
The ABC will use its New Year's Eve broadcast this year as an appeal for the Red Cross' Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund. The council said it has already donated $300,000 to the Red Cross, and a further $300,000 to other organisations working to support communities and wildlife affected by the crisis.
More than four million people across the country are expected to watch at least part of the broadcast, and even more overseas.
Director of Australian Programs Noel Clement said donations to the Red Cross helps their emergency teams get to work helping those in need - including those hit by the bushfire crisis.
“A donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery helps our emergency teams to do their work – including the bushfires and heatwaves we’re currently seeing, and disasters yet to come," he said.
"It also currently includes recovery programs, practical support and emergency grants in communities affected by the recent bushfires.”
People will be able to donate to Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery work at www.redcross.org.au/NYE or 1800 RED CROSS.
The Salvation Army has set a $3 million target for a disaster appeal to support communities affected by bushfires in NSW and Queensland.
This $3 million target is running alongside Salvos annual Christmas appeal.
"We've been really heartened by the fact that our annual appeal to help people in need has held up while the community has been helping the bushfire disaster fund. From a community response to times of need, we are amazed at how people are helping each other," Salvation Army Spokesperson Steve Speziale told 10 daily.
New Year's Eve sees another donation push as the Salvos seek donations in Victoria for those affected by the East Gippsland fires, teaming up with Channel 7's New Years Broadcast to ask Aussies to help those affected by bushfires.
To donate visit: https://www.salvationarmy.org.au/donate/
Across the country, thousands have rolled up their sleeves to donate blood to patients in need.
“We’ve had an overwhelming response from people donating blood coming into the new year,” Redcross Lifeblood Spokesperson Helen Walsh told 10 daily.
Lifeblood has made a final call for 1,600 blood donors before the year wraps up, with the potential to help nearly 5,000 patients.
“These patients could be people undergoing treatment for cancer, newborns, those undergoing emergency surgery, those involved in road accidents and so many more,” Lifeblood spokesperson Belinda Smetioukh said.
“Coming into the new year, we want people to be thinking of people in need and in making a new year's resolution to donate blood, you can save lives,” Walsh said.
Lifeblood donor centres are open throughout the New Year break, for more information visit donateblood.com.au
Featured Image: Getty