Aid agencies, local charities and even the RFS have thanked the community for the overwhelming generosity as fires devastate communities across the country.
But, as the weeks wear on, the message is that cash, rather than food, clothes or supplies, is the best donation.
In the hard hit Shoalhaven, the council has started a mayoral relief fund to help support victims, saying that the donations of physical things has now become a logistical issue for front line workers and is "removing resources from the key areas of need".
"The best donation you can give is a monetary one," the council says.
"The community support of donated items has been overwhelming and extremely generous to date. Charity and volunteer organisations have now reached capacity for item donation.
"Please be assured, that through the work of community members, agencies, RFS and Council, drops of food are already occurring at Conjola, Manyana and Fisherman's Paradise.
"A large donation has been provided to Conjola today. Residents have also now been able to get into and out of Conjola via road."
"We really appreciate the generosity but experience with emergencies shows that donations of money, where possible, help affected communities recover sooner. This is because people can make their own choices - including purchasing the goods they need for their own families."
Likewise, surf clubs around the South Coast are reporting that they are at capacity in terms of their ability to deal with physical donations. Road closures and power outages make if difficult to get supplies to where they are needed, so cash is a faster way to help.
Here are some ways to donate with cash:
Red Cross Appeal
Donations to the Red Cross help with disaster relief and recovery.
- Supporting people at evacuation centres and recovery hubs
- Psychological first aid to reduce trauma
- Emergency assistance (including cash grants to people who have lost homes in these bushfires)
- Supporting our volunteers and covering their expenses
- Longer-term recovery programs in disaster-affected communities
- Helping families and communities prepare for disasters
- Essential costs like transport, office space, finance and IT systems
Rural Fire Service
In the Illawarra, RFS district officer David Bartlett said the control centre team was extremely grateful for the "monumental" amount of donations it had received.
The region's volunteer firefighting service is now well stocked with goods and those wanting to contribute can do so in other ways.
"If you want to help, cash donations are welcome in two ways," Mr Bartlett said.
"People can give money to individual local brigades, which can be approached directly or through the control centre; or by contributing to all Illawarra brigades.
"The latter can be done by donating to the official Illawarra senior management team account.
"The team will then allocate the money where there is the need."
Across the state, some RFS stations will occasionally post that they urgently require supplies - like water, fuel or food. Otherwise, people can also donate to the RFS state bank account online to help supplies to reach the areas of most need at various times.
Shoahaven Mayoral Relief Fund
Please call 4429 5287 prior to sending anything down to the impacted area to ensure that your donation is directed to the appropriate location. Do not take donations to the Ulladulla Civic Centre as storage is at capacity.
Cash donations are the best donation you can make. Shoalhaven City Council Mayor, Amanda Findley, opened the Mayoral Relief Fund in response to the Currawon Fire Emergency on the 6th December 2019 and has been working to support the community since this time in response to the fires.
The Mayoral Appeal Fund is the preferred method to assist the Shoalhaven towns and villages impacted.
If you would like to make a tribute to "Bushfire" you can donate via Council to
- Shoalhaven City Council
- BSB: 062 585
- Account: 10948473
- Please quote Reference: Bushfire
Donations can also be made at our Customer Service Centres in both Nowra and Ulladulla or at any Commonwealth Bank branch using the BSB and Account number and reference "Bushfire". All donated funds are held in a separate trust account. The management and distribution of these funds will be overseen by an Independent Advisory Panel
The Panel will ensure all funds are distributed equitably and consistently to those who are directly affected by the fire emergency, in compliance with the Commonwealth charitable law requirements. Donate now https://www.givenow.com.au/organisation/public/2077
The NSW bushfires have reportedly killed almost half a billion animals, under conservative estimates, with some species of plants and animals feared to be facing extinction.
The 480 million animals estimated to be killed would have died from either the fires themselves, or the depletion of food and shelter and predation from feral cats and foxes.
That figure does not include insects, bats or frogs, and only includes animals killed in NSW.
The death toll for animals killed in bushfires in Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania is not known.
WIRES has the following advice:
1) If you find wildlife impacted by fires in NSW, please contact WIRES Rescue Line on 1300 094 737.
If it is safe to do so take any injured animals immediately to the nearest vet. Injured animals need vet treatment urgently, to increase their chances of recovery and survival. If you let WIRES know which vet you've taken the animal to, we will follow up with the vet to bring the animals into care after they have been assessed and received any treatment required.
2) For more information about assisting native animals read WIRES Bushfire Factsheet.
3) To help rescue wildlife please donate to WIRES Emergency Fund - all gifts $2 and over are tax-deductible.
In addition to fire and drought related rescues WIRES' volunteers are responding to hundreds of other requests for rescue help for hundreds of sick, injured and orphaned native animals every day.
Only licenced wildlife carers can rehabilitate native animals and WIRES always needs more volunteers. If you are interested in joining WIRES to help rescue and care for native animals, you can sign up after reading the information about becoming a volunteer.