I've been a member of DUST (Down Under Street Team at Etsy) for a while now and while they have seemed to be a great bunch of people all along, I feel they have truly shown their best as a result of the devastating bushfires in Victoria. Victoria is Australia's south-eastern state on the mainland.
As you can see on this map, the situation is amazing. There have been many, many fires and while most have now fortunately been contained, 16 fires still burn out of control, 7,800 survivors are displaced, 1,800 homes have been destroyed including whole towns, and tragically the death toll, stalled at an official 181 for several days now, is tipped to climb dramatically higher.
Victoria has been gripped by a terrible drought for a decade. When the drought eased in most of Australia in recent years, it clung on to Victoria. This, combined with an astonishing heatwave with temperatures up to 46ºC (115ºF) for almost 2 weeks, led to fires that swept uncontrollably and unpredictably across the state fanned by strong winds.
I think I can safely say that most Australians have felt like I have this week: sad, depressed, numb and feeling powerless in the face of an overwhelming desire to help. Ah, my friends at DUST! Almost instantly a new shop was opened at Etsy to raise money.
All items for sale in the OzBushfireAppeal shop have been donated, not only by DUSTers but by many artists and crafters from all around the world. The response has been amazing. In the short 6 days it has been open there have been (at the time of writing) 365 sales! There are currently 178 items listed, but even with working at it around the clock, not all the donations have been listed yet! The shop is growing and growing. It is truly exciting to see how we all come together when help is needed. So far we have raised over $5000 AU. The items sold are being shipped to buyers all over the world, and the money is being passed on to the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal.
What can you do to help? Visit the shop and have a browse. Buy something - in all of that lot there must be something you want! Everything in store has free shipping.
Or if you would like to donate something to sell here's what you do:
* Email the listing wording, price, tags and pics to feliciafairy [!at] gmail.com
* We'll do the listing
* Once item is sold, you will be informed and YOU will Ship it out. We need to have FREE INTERNATIONAL shipping on all items so that they can come from/ go to anywhere.
Be sure to include your shop name so we can credit you :)
Better still, do both!
Thanks Jan for bringing this to Printsy's attention!