EDITORIAL: Lend Australia a helping hand

As we watch the daily reports from Australia regarding the wildfire situation there, more and more people are looking for ways to help.

On one hand, it’s sad to think it takes a tragedy to galvanize society. On the other hand, the unified response from society as a whole points to a realization that, at the end of the day, we all have the same wants and needs. Seeing people from different ethnicities, religious affiliations and political leanings, virtually all in agreement, is a rarity.

Yes, there are mumblings as to how the fires came to be. (Were they human-caused? Is this a product of climate change?) And while those arguments continue to pop up in various social media feeds, by and large people are more concerned – at least at this time – with helping, rather than debating the root of the cause.

In the Comox Valley, there are a couple of events happening this weekend in support of Australia wildfire recovery efforts.

The Spool Sewing Studio is hosting a workshop to create pouches for the animals in distress.

“Sew For Australian Wildlife” will take place at Nicole Bertram’s studio (#4-420 Fitzgerald Ave., Courtenay) on Saturday, Jan. 18, from noon to 5 p.m.

People are invited to stop by anytime during the event and help out, whether that be by sewing, cutting patterns, or dropping off material for the pouches (100 per cent cotton fabric, or flannel; no synthetic fibres or polyester).

Sunday afternoon, 3-7 p.m. at the Avalanche Bar, there will be a benefit concert to raise funds in support of the firefighters heading from Canada to Australia.

In addition to six bands, there will be 50/50 draws, as well as a silent auction.

Admission is by donation.

If you can’t get to either event, but want to contribute to the cause, St. John Ambulance BC & Yukon is now collecting donations to go directly towards the disaster relief efforts of the Country Fire Authority & Brigades Donations Fund (CFA) in Victoria, Australia. To contribute to that initiative, go to https://www.supportsja.ca/australia

There are numerous ways you can help. Get involved. Someday it could be Vancouver Island asking the world for help.

Let’s pay it forward.

-Terry Farrell

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