From our friends at Morrison Orchards
Thank You to Our Community
The generous spirit of our local community and beyond is always a lovely thing to witness. As I began our Australian bushfire relief fundraiser, I had no real idea how much I might collect. Friends, family, local area people I know, as well as complete strangers, generously have given. The goal was to collect funds to go directly to serve the needs of starving and injured animals, as well as to ease the suffering and financial losses of those who lost their homes and properties to the fires and were in immediate need. Grateful to have our friend, Rylan Edmistone, who lives in the fire stricken area of Budgong, New South Wales on the eastern side of Australia, I am happy now to share where the money has been put to work. As donations continued to arrive, I made three money transfers to him over the past month. Sent to date was a total of $5022 which equates to $7,265 in Australian currency. Half of the money is going to animal relief efforts and half to aid people. On the animal front, funds are continuing to sustain purchases of food pellets and fruit that Rylan and an area volunteer group are placing at food/water stations for kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, gliders, and other mammals and birds. Also some of the money has gone to a Kangaroo Valley area non-profit wombat rescue center whose efforts and need for funding have risen greatly with the injured wombats arriving in need of care. On the human front, money has been distributed to three groups – a portion to the local Budgong community to aid people who have lost their homes, a portion to nearby Illaroo Farm, a center for Aboriginal Australian culture which lost virtually everything due to fire, and a portion to the Firesticks Alliance, an Aboriginal Australian group, to aid in their continued work in promoting, sharing, teaching, and conducting ancient cultural burning practices which may be a viable means of reducing the enormous fuel loads of future fires.
My gratitude is enormous for those of you who so generously donated to help these efforts. It is good to know that the money is at work already and not held up in the red tape that often keeps donations from being put to work where and when needed the most. I am grateful, too, for the invitation from Shari Paulsen to speak at the Fremont Rotary meeting to share information about the tragedies of the bushfires, and I am grateful for that double edged sword - online social media – a force for good and evil, but in crisis like the ongoing Australian bushfires. It has been a godsend to the Australian people who have shared critical information and offered help to one another throughout their time of great need. It also has been a force for good in allowing me to spread the word that I was collecting donations. Hearing directly from people who have been affected by our collective giving, it is clear that they are truly grateful and it means a lot to them that we, on the other side of the world, are concerned for their well-being. I will be making another wire transfer of money sometime around Valentine’s Day and again at the end of February. If you are interested in helping, please feel free to send a donation to: Kathy Morrison 6128 S Maple Island Rd Fremont, MI 49412. You can see the original posts and updates for the fundraiser on our Morrison Orchards Facebook page. Again, thank you for following the fundraiser posts and for opening your hearts and wallets for the victims of the Budgong/Kangaroo Valley area of Australia.
Kathy and John Morrison
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