Sorry for being MIA the last few days, and thanks to my blogging friends from around the world for their concern and good wishes for what's been happening here in Australia. As I said in my last post, we are quite safe here in Melbourne and my Dad is OK in Bendigo too.
I'm sad to say it has been pretty devastating for those who have been in the fires' paths. At this present time there are still around 21 fires still burning in the state, most are contained but there are still 2 or 3 major ones that are threatening lives and property. Healesville is presently under threat, although I think they might be OK for now. I've read that the fires could keep burning for another 3 weeks.
Today the police have arrested a suspect, a known serial arsonist, for lighting the Churchill Gippsland fire.....other fires are also suspected as having been purposely lit by fire-bugs too! There was even a fire only a few kms from here, in Ivanhoe last night in grassland that was lit by a fire-bug. It just beggars belief that someone could do something like this to other human beings.......it just disgusts me!
At the last count there were over 1800 homes destroyed, over 7,000 people who are displaced and 181 dead, I think something like 600 people have also been treated by hospitals for burns....some are serious and won't survive, but most have been discharged. My daughter, who is a police officer, has been involved in the search for more bodies at Kinglake, but at this stage they are looking for bones that might look human.......a lot of people won't be found at all as they have been totally cremated! My hubby's friend has also had it confirmed that his partner and her children died in the blaze.....he is under sedation at present.
If you would like to donate to the families of the bushfire victims you can do it through the Red Cross http://www.redcross.org.au/vic/services_emergencyservices_victorian-bushfires-appeal-2009.htm All money collected by them will go straight to the victims, they won't deduct any administrative costs from your donations.
My friend Sandie is running a card drive as a small way to help bushfire victims too, you can read about it HERE
There are also a few scrapping/stamping online stores/companies that are donating sales to the bushfire victims. I'll list what I know of here:-
Stampin' Up - donating 50% of sales from THESE stamp sets.
The Stamping Queen - donating all sales until Feb 18th
Scrapbook Capital - see for details.
If I find more I'll add them to the list.
Also please be aware that there are some unscrupulous vultures out there who are attempting to dishonestly collect money for the bushfire appeal, best to give to something you know is above board.
For the most part, the response to the appeal has been fantastic, something like $50 million dollars has been raised by the Red Cross,and Channel 9 had a telethon last night which raised a further $21 million. There has also been massive donations of goods and services by businesses and individuals have been donating goods too.
Well, I think I've had more than enough to say for now.......thanks if you managed to read it all! Sorry, I have no card to show you today....just not feeling creative with what's been happening.
I haven't forgotten about my blog candy either, I will close off comments tomorrow at around midday (Saturday) and draw a winner sometime after that. So if you haven't left an entry yet, just put a comment in this post.