Image courtesy of Dave Fregon
For a change, believe what you hear in the media. The devastation of these bushfires is horrendous, and has impacted in the most profound manner upon countless people.
I’ve stood in the very same place that this photo wad taken, and I struggle to believe that this entire area has been devastated by the Victorian bushfires. Lives have been lost within metres of this street.
Several of my very close friends in the affected regions have convinced me that the past few days have been beyond human comprehension. Truly, the gates of hell were left open for just a little too long.
Many of you who read this blog are involved with schools. I’m going to offer a very pragmatic way that you can help.
In Australia, a non-profit organisation called School Aid co-ordinates fundraising and support when a serious disaster occurs. I know all about this organisation, because I’ve been involved with it for years.
Here’s how it works.
School Aid raise funds from schools throughout Australia and overseas, and then distributes those funds to those most in need after the disaster. We’ve apportioned well over a milllion dollars to kids in Beslan, to kids in post-tsunami Indonesia, and to children devastated by last year’s earthquakes in China.
We guarantee that 90% of the funds that are raised are distributed to the victims of the disaster. This is enshrined in our charter, and administered by our relevant legal authorities.
Here’s what you can do. Go and register here, and then encourage your students to raise money for children who were devastated by this natural disaster. Tell other schools how you raised the money (if you wish, although you don’t have to), or simply send what you raise to our fund.
If you live outside Australia, and you are asked to choose a state in which you live, pick any one of them. Sorry, we haven’t adjusted this in time to take account of the immediate need of this disaster.
Once you raise the monies that are collected by your school, we will then distribute those funds to support young victims of the Victorian fires. This will be reported on our website, so that you can then tell your own students what happened to the money that they raised.
I’ve worked with schools in Australia, Asia, New Zealand, the US and Canada, and I ask every one of them to get involved. This is not just an Australian issue. This is a world issue. If a similar tragedy occurred in any of those locations, Australian kids would contribute significantly. And they have. I ask you to do the same.