The City of West Hollywood has activated its West Hollywood Responds program to help facilitate contributions from local residents, businesses, and others to relief efforts for disaster victims.
The City Council of the City of West Hollywood first established West Hollywood Responds in 2005 as a local disaster relief program developed to provide assistance to the Gulf Coast region following Hurricane Katrina.
The City encourages community members to take part in donating to organizations that are organizing recovery efforts in response to the devastating wildfires in Australia.
Some organizations collecting donations to support recovery efforts in Australia include:
- The Australian Red Cross (https://www.redcross.org.au/) is accepting donations to its Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund, which has helped to send 1,285 staff members and volunteers to communities affected by the fires and to provide support to displaced people sheltering in more than 69 evacuation and recovery centers. Volunteering roles are also possible.
- GIVIT (http://www.givit.org.au/) is an Australian organization that matches donated goods with items that are specifically requested by victims of the fires. People have asked for things like car batteries, fence posts and gas pumps.
- Salvation Army Australia (https://www.salvationarmy.org.au/) advises donors to send money instead of goods because of the logistical difficulties of storing and distributing goods in areas affected by disasters. Donations are funneled to various forms of assistance, including mental health support and housing.
- NSW Rural Fire Service (https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/volunteer/support-your-local-brigade) includes firefighters and community workers in rural fire brigades that are in the thick of it. Donations are directed to emergency efforts and nonemergency community work.
- RSPCA New South Wales (https://www.rspcansw.org.au/) has veterinarians, inspectors, and staff currently helping to evacuate animals and livestock from affected areas in New South Wales, and will begin to return to areas where the fires have already burned to assess the damage.
- The World Wildlife Fund (https://gifts.worldwildlife.org/gift-center/gifts/species-adoptions/koala.aspx) has a virtual adopt a koala program and the Port Macquerie Koala Hospital (https://www.koalahospital.org.au/) is helping rehabilitate koalas and build drinking stations for koalas still in their habitats.
Community members may also visit Charity Navigator, which objectively reviews charities and has provided a list of organizations responding to the disasters.
For more information, please visit www.charitynavigator.org.