As we head into what is gearing up to be a cool and wet autumn, we look back on the shocking events of the 19/20 Australian summer.
Sparking as early as September 2019, Australia was ravaged by the worst bushfires in history. Record-breaking temperatures and a prolonged drought that began in 2017 made this year's bushfire season more devastating than ever. The damage caused by the fires is unprecedented, with at least 33 lives lost, over 1 billion animals killed and more than 14 million hectares of bush, forest, and parks across Australia scorched. The impact of the fires will, of course, be long-lasting and far-reaching with communities, businesses, and families struggling to recover from the devastation and rebuild their lives.
As an Australia based company, the reality of the devastation has been deeply felt throughout the Scrubba office, with our hearts going out to our affected communities, brave firefighters, suffering land and vulnerable animals in what has been an incredibly frightening time. In this regard, our team was compelled to demonstrate solidarity and offer help in a way in which we felt would be the most beneficial to those in need. We were certainly not alone in this thought, with hundreds of Australian and International businesses as well as public figures and the general public rallying to do what they could to help and raise awareness.
Scrubba Takes Action
For 5 days over 8-12 January 2020, we pledged to donate 100% of sales from both thescrubba.com and thescrubba.com.au to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery fund and Australian volunteer country firefighters. Through our newsletter and social media profiles, we informed our subscribers about this effort, hoping that our awesome Scrubba community would spread the word and help us raise funds, knowing that their full purchase price was to be donated to those who needed it most!
Our message was met with such an incredible response from new and existing customers across the globe in that we saw $14,292.06 in sales during this period. As promised, we donated the full amount to those affected by the ongoing devastating bushfire crisis. The support and generosity shown was moving and we hope that through this, these Scrubba purchases will help to make a difference to the local communities rebuilding their lives and to our brave firefighters who continue to risk their own.
After extensive research into where we felt would be best to allocate the funds, we made the following donations:
$12,292.06 to the Australian Red Cross. The Red Cross uses donations to ensure that their trained staff and volunteers are deployed to disaster-affected areas as soon as emergency strikes. The work they do in helping communities to prepare, respond and recover from disasters was crucial during this time.
$1000 to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal. The Victorian Government partnered with Bendigo Bank and The Salvation Army to establish an appeal, with 100% of donated funds going directly to communities in need.
$1000 to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service. The NSW RFS firefighters and support personnel were working tirelessly during the national crisis, with much-needed donations helping to ensure that they had the equipment, means, and support required to respond to the catastrophic fires in the best way possible.
Looking To The Future
In this instance of national disaster, it was evident and encouraged by authorities that the most useful immediate course of action was to donate funds to charities and organisations such as those mentioned above in order to facilitate the urgent purchase of firefighting equipment, medical supplies and living necessities for the injured and displaced as well as essentials for first responders. However, as hundreds of people had to evacuate their homes both temporarily and permanently, in some instances with just the clothing on their backs, we acknowledge that Scrubba wash bags would provide an effective means by which to wash clothes without the need for electricity and with minimal water. We are therefore aspiring to make the Scrubba wash bag available to disaster relief agencies in the near future, both in Australia and overseas.
Enabling clean clothes in disaster locations not only improves hygiene but boosts the self-esteem of survivors and responders, empowering them and giving them hope. The Scrubba wash bag is built to last years and can also function as a dry bag to keep gear dry, a wet bag or laundry bag and as a bucket for carrying water. To find out more about how the Scrubba wash bag works, take a look here.