As fires grip the Western Cape region of Knysna, South Africans have sprung into action and are making donations either monetary or otherwise to assist those affected by the fire.
The first thing many will do is try and find out if their loved ones are safe. To assist you with that Facebook’s Safety Check is currently active.
However, the fires have claimed several cell towers in the area which makes connecting to the internet tricky. That means that folks may not be able to log onto Facebook to mark themselves as safe.
A Facebook group called Knysna Fires 7th June has also been created and is constantly being updated with news about evacuations.
For those that don’t have access to Facebook there is a Google Doc you can use to check if your friends or family are safe. Be sure to read through the list before you add names.
We also advise those in the area to post a simple “I’m safe” on their social media channels if possible.
As with many disasters in South Africa, citizens are eager to help and as such we’ve listed a few charities, non-profit organisations and fundraisers you can contribute to.
Gift of the Givers is currently in Knysna distributing bottled water. The organisation is still waiting for feedback on what those affected require but you can make a donation in the mean time. Details are in the Facebook post embedded below.
If you are in the area and don’t have money but can donate in kind, firefighters require food and drink. According to the Knysna Fires Facebook page these can be dropped off at Metelerkamps in Knysna.
We will continue to update this list as the fires continue. If you know of legitimate organisations that require assistance let us know so that we can spread the word to as many folks as possible.
Heavenly Haven is also calling for donations both monetary and otherwise.
Donations of food, water, blankets, toiletries, clothes, nappies and the like can be dropped off at the Knysna Fire Department on Waterfront Drive or at the same Metelerkamps location mentioned above.
If you would like to make a monetary donation to Heavenly Haven you can find its banking details in the Facebook post embedded below.
[Image – CC BY ND 2.0 Nick Perla]