Many of our colleagues and school communities have been affected by the disastrous bushfires that have swept large areas of our state of Victoria in the last few days. It has been declared Australia’s worst natural disaster and at least three schools have been burnt down. Many people have lost their lives, some of them children. Our thoughts are with you all.
What can we do to help? Australian and international readers are able to assist by making donations to the Red Cross (secure site). Australian readers can also consider shopping at Coles supermarkets this Friday 13th February as all profits from its 750 stores will be donated to the Victorian Government’s Bushfire Appeal in partnership with the Red Cross. Victorians who are willing to help in other ways can read the ‘Offer help’ page from the ABC.
On behalf of the School Library Association of Victoria, a heartfelt thank you to all of the volunteers who have been so brave and worked so hard to fight the fires and to assist the people affected by them; among them are the CFA, SES, Red Cross,Salvation Army and the pilots of the planes and helicopters that have carried out vital water bombing and the people who are assisting those left homeless and bereaved.
The School Library Association of Victoria is a collegial and sharing network and we hope that this strength of community will enable us to provide support wherever we can.
If you and/or your school do manage to help in some way, please add a comment to let us know. Thank you.
At Harlaxton State School (Primary) in Toowoomba Qld our students are holding a free dress day and contributing a gold coin donation to the Appeal. Staff will be holding a Valentine’s Day raffle on Friday 13 th Feb and all proceeds are to the Appeal as well. Our thoughts are with you all.
Thank you so much Shirley. Great to hear from you.
Here at Niagara Park PS (NSW) we will be running a coin line for the students and collecting donations from staff next Monday (16th Feb). We are also hoping to get our students to write letters of encouragement and support to the students who have been through this tragic event.
Thanks Jodie, sounds like a fun idea and a great way to help.
We’re holding a mufti day, with everyone wearing bright colours for hope, Thursday, 12th February, and everyone is asked for a donation to go to the schools most affected.
The Students of Mission Beach State School are having a free dress day to raise money for the Appeal. They know only too well from Cyclone Larry what it is like to lose everything even though they did not have to endure the loss of life.
Our thoughts have been with you.
Thanks to Valerie and Judy and their respective schools. Wonderful support.
Hello, at Mossgiel Park we’re having a free dress day and hope to raise about $800 at $2 per child.
Just wondering if later on when schools affected by the fires get sorted out a bit, if SLAV could coordinate a Library Donation Drive. I donated to something similar after Hurricane Katrina and also to a school in Ingham after the last floods.
I’d be happy to help.
Students at Bowraville Central are holding a mufti day, and a lunch special at the canteen to raise money. All our thoughts are with you.
At Faulconbridge Public School, in the Blue Mountains of NSW, we are holding a mufti day this Thursday to add our support to the appeal. Our sympathy and best wishes to you all at this very sad and traumatic time.
If it will help at all I have many boxes of books culled from a recent stocktake that could help a primary library begin again. Most are in rather good condition, culled to make way for more books in a well-stocked, “smallish” library. I had planned to send them overseas but would love to try & get them to you when & if you would like them.
Faulconbridge Public School
Thank you Mossgiel Park, Helen and Diane for your support. Will forward on the offers from Mossgiel Park and Diane and will be in touch.
Many of us here in the States would like to help as well. How best to help? Where is the best address to which donations could be sent?
Hi Ellen, Thanks for your support. The Australian Red Cross website is best:
as checks mailed to Australia would have to be in Australian dollars. Many thanks!
The kind words of people from all over the place certainly do help out here.
We’ve just had staff rushing off home today because the Churchill/Jeeralang complex fire has turned back on itself a bit and is threatening yet another area where lots of our school community live.
We are all just holding our breath as we wait for information about those who have lost their lives. We know that some of them will be known to us.
As of this morning, we had no information about 60 of our school families. While it is likely that most if not all of them are safe and well it is an eerie feeling when you know that deaths have occurred.
At this point we have a member of staff who has lost loved ones at Kinglake; we have several students who have lost their homes and everything that goes with that. One year 12 girl told me today that she was in another town with friends when her family decided to evacuate. They phoned and asked her what she needed saved but she said it was impossible to think quickly about where her photos were etc. She is very pragmatic at the moment but knows that when she stops being strong for her family the reality will be hard.
We have a lot of families from the Callignee area where there have been many deaths. The kids are very aware that they can’t go back to check out their situation until all the line searching and forensics have been completed. It’s a horrid load for a child – no matter how old.
There will be a lot of shocks and grief to come yet so many thanks to everyone who is assisting along the way.
Lavalla Catholic College – Traralgon
It is a terrible time for your area and your community. Your message really paints a picture of what the people and communities involved are going through. Our best and heartfelt wishes to you.
Mill Park SC students will have a “Wear Casual Pants” day and Gold coin donation on Thursday 12th Feb to raise money for all those people affected by the bushfires.
Our thoughts are with you all.
MPSC Senior Campus
Thanks Stella, sounds like a great idea.
Our school is holding a Coin run too. We’re trying to fill in the blank letters of HPS Helping Victorian Bushfire Victims on our play area. This is happening this Friday 13th Feb.
Thanks Pam. Another terrific idea that is greatly appreciated.
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Our school in w.a held a free dress day, today 13thFeb.
The children are keen to communicate with an affected school and the children to share with them their hope and empathy. Is there an opportunity for this anywhere?
Woodcroft Primary School in South Australia today collected over $3000. The staff had chalked out the state of Victoria on the courtyard pavement, and a large cross indicating where the fires had been/are. Each child donated money & lined the coins around the edge of the state, then filled around each of the crosses. The Headmistress dressed as a firefighter supervised the children, some bringing a few dollars to many bringing notes. Some children offering their pocket money.
Us as a school community offer our condolences and prayers. Our thoughts are with you. XXX
Thanks Fiona and Sharon for you and your schools’ support. Will pass on your request Sharon.
I am a parent from Cammeray Public School (Sydney, NSW). I have conducted a book drive to collect donations of good quality childrens’ books and Adult novels. I now have 100s of books to donate to fire affected families and schools that need them.
I am in the process of compiling a comprehensive list (author, title, series) and would be happy to send it to you and so you can select the books you most want.
Thoughts are with all those families and communities at such a tough time,
kind regards, Sue Ashton-Davies 02 9922 4981
Our school, Chester Hill North Public School has been able to raise well $2,000.00 for the appeal. If you are in need of well loved primary reading books, I would happly arrange shipping.
Chester Hill North Primary
Thanks Christy and Sue. Have passed on your offers. Will be in touch.
My name is Daniella and I am a pre-service teacher currently on prac.
The school I’ve been placed in recently held a free dress day wearing red, orange and yellow clothing. They all donated a dollar or more to the bushfire fund.
This is a small school of 200 students and I was amazed at how much these children genuinely cared. It is because of this that I have the idea to give the children a chance to write letters or draw pictures for children and adults affected by the bushfires. However, I have no idea where I could send all of these letters and pictures.
If you believe that this might be beneficial for these affected people, or if anyone has an idea of where I can send these… please let me know!
Hi Daniella, thank you for your message and wonderful work with the students. I have passed your question on. Best wishes!
Hi, I am a teacher from Griffith East Public School and we have a box of teacher resources we would like to donate to teachers affected by the bushfires. Would you know where I could send this? Thanks
Thanks very much for your support. Your message has been passed on to the ALIA Disaster Recovery Project Manager, who will be coordinating such donations.
My third grade class here in Reno had been studying Australia, and in the event of the devastation that has hit you, we have also extended our unit into writing letters to other primary school children in the burnt out/refuge area. I’m hoping they receive our messages. Our hearts go out to you all, and hope to organize a small fund-raiser here at our school. I, myself, have donated through the Red Cross Australia, as my Australian friends have let me know where and how we can help. We wish we could do more and provide learning and reading material, but understandably cannot. J ane Miller Hunter Lake Elementary School Reno, Nevada
Hi Jane, thanks so much for your support! It is difficult when you are literally half a world away, but your donations and best wishes are much appreciated.