How is Red Cross helping people?

Since July 2019, we’ve helped more than 18,600 people in 30 emergencies, mostly fires or extreme heatwaves. More than 1,590 volunteers and staff have given their time and effort to make this possible.

Right now, in response to the bushfire emergency, Red Cross teams are supporting people at evacuation centres and recovery hubs and making wellbeing phone calls.

From 6 January 2020, we will provide emergency grants for people who have lost homes to bushfires across Australia.

And our Register.Find.Reunite, which helps to reunify people who have been separated in a disaster, is open in Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia and South Australia, and has, to date, registered over 30,000 people and taken more than 5,000 enquires.

I lost my home in a bushfire. What help can I get now?

People who lost their homes in a bushfire may be eligible for an emergency grant of $5,000. Visit and register your contact details. We’ll follow up after Monday 6 January to verify a few pieces of information, including proof of residence. Once the checks are done, you will get a payment by EFT.

Grants are available to people whose primary place of residence has been destroyed or rendered uninhabitable because of a bushfire since 1 July 2019. They are open across Australia.

I want to volunteer! 

Thank you! We list volunteer roles on our at You’ll need to apply and complete training before we can send you into an emergency response. This is an evolving emergency across multiple states and so this approach may well change in the coming days and weeks. Please continue to monitor the latest advertised volunteering opportunities and our social media channels for updates on this.

Can I donate canned food or other goods?

We really appreciate the generosity but we’re unable to accept or distribute donated goods at this time.

If you want to donate food items, check out Foodbank as they have been asking for donations of food in bulk to help with their work

Agencies like GIVIT act as a broker for donated goods, listing what’s needed and finding a match for the items you might have to give.

Our experience at Red Cross in emergencies is that 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.

If you have collected goods already, we’d gratefully accept donations of clothing at our retail stores, to on-sell and raise funds to support our work. Visit to find out more. We know that agencies such as GIVIT are also accepting donated goods but would encourage you to do some research online.

Jan 7, 2020
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