Sunday, February 15, 2009

Devastation Down Under

I live in Victoria, Australia and I am finding it very hard to write this post, but it bloody well needs to be done.

Saturday 7th February, a firestorm began and ripped through the Victoria, destroying everything in its path, many fires still burn out of control today.

Many lives were lost, many are still missing. Homes gone, towns destroyed, only the ashes remain. The devastation of these fires are horrific, the worst in Australian history.

*reaches for a tissue*

Those that survived these fires have a long journey ahead of them to restart and rebuild their lives. And that’s where the Australian Red Cross comes in. The Red Cross have established a Victorian Bushfire Relief Fund to help these survivors.

Autumn Hykova of Pixel Dust & Dakota Buck of Savvy? have started a charity avatar named Victoria Farshore. All the money collected will be passed on to the Red Cross. I have been told that you are allowed to choose where the money goes specifically, so that’s what the Autumn and Dakota are doing, designating it to the Bushfire Relief Fund. Many inworld creators have jumped on board to help with this fundraiser. They have donated their time and their creations to help the Australian Red Cross Click Here to see a lists of creators and stores that are involved in this mighty fundraiser (list is updated daily). I personally wish to thank each and every one of them from the bottom of my heart for their time, effort and dedication they have put towards this cause.

*Raises a glass and cheers you all

Helena Stringer of The Stringer Mausoleum has 4 items for this charity. Helena’s aim is to fight fire with fire with 3 hair styles retexture in a special fire edition, Summon Winter, Duster and Assassin as well as a pair of gorgeous fire wings. 100% of the proceeds going to the Victorian Bushfire fund. Plus Helena is also donating 5% of her daily earnings in SL to the relief fund. So even if you buy a regular item, you are still helping in some way.
Aikea Rieko of Tokeo Plastik has a skin for sale called 'Tatania Brushfire'. It is available in 3 tones, Venice, Spice and Rose and each pack contains 4 versions. 100% of the proceeds for these skins are also going to The Australian Red Cross. My lovely eyes are Toxic: Cyanide (coma) created by Ruina Kessel of the House of Ruin with 50% of the proceeds going to the fund.
The Victorian Corset, created by Margo Imako of Steambound. This corset set has an Aussie flag design and was created especially for the Relief fund. This cute outfit also comes with gloves and a pair of sexy short shorts.
These boots are apart of the fundraising efforts of Sakuradawn Lei of Lazy Places. There are a few different styles of boots available. These ones are Naamloos Boots in red & white. 100% of the profit going to the relief fund.

This picture of Sam the koala and volunteer firefighter, David Tree, is a well recognized image around the world. It is a heart warming image of hope that was much needed during all the despair. 1000’s of pets, wildlife and farm animals were lost in these fires. Sam is currently one of 22 koalas, 14 ringtail possums, several wallabies and eastern grey kangaroos that have been handed into Gippsland wildlife carers.

I have been deeply affected by these current events and have shed many tears.

Though sadly the threat is far from over, some fires still burn out of control and many homes and lives are still under threat. Firefighters continually work around the clock to contain these fires. We have been partially lucky that the weather has cooled off during the week but that is soon to end. Temperatures are soon to rise again and the threat of more fires scares the hell out me. I live in a high fire danger area but have been lucky with last Saturday’s disaster that my area currently remains unaffected but I know, understand and fear that that can change in an instant. A box of photos lie in wait by the front door, I hope and pray that they only gather dust. Damn it…I’m out of tissues…I’ll brb…

*Returns and dries her eyes so she can see what she is typing*

Enough being sad and speaking from the heart crap. Now get your arses over to some of these amazing stores and purchase something to help those that have nothing. Maybe even a simply thank you to some of these amazing creators, let them know that their work and effort for this cause is greatly appreciated. The stores also have Red Cross donation kiosks set up for those who would like just donate a linden or 2, every little bit counts. A big thank you to all of you that have already donated.

On a happier note, blogger extraordinaire, Winter Jefferson has organized a ‘Date for Down Under’ fundraising event at the Seven Ultra Lounge Sunday 15th Feb @ 7pm SLT with the amazing Sierra Sugar DJing the event. It is gonna be a bloody good night with lots of gorgeous dates up for grabs, including Winter himself. Some big names will be auctioned off so come along and have some fun and perv at all the hotties. A list of some of the participants can be found on In Cold Blood. All money raised on the night will go to Victorian Bushfire Relief Fund.
I found comfort in the surrounds of a place called Creamshop, it was nice to just the rain, hearing nothing but the pitter patter of rain drops as they hit the ground all around me. If only I could take this rain with me into RL.

I am not a religious but I have prayed for rain to help those involved in the fight to contain these fires, most of which are volunteers…unsung heroes.

Thank you everyone!


Helena Stringer said...

Oh my dear, thank you so much for doing this post. It almost feels like I can't do enough you know? I donated some money to go directly to the animals, cause I wanted to see them helped as well. I have always wanted to go to australia, I'm an avid lover of all creatures but bugs and spiders most of all. To think that my chance to see a certain species could be gone, just makes me sad. There has been so much lost, to every living thing there. I hope soon that Mother Nature will take her work elsewheres.

You did a wonderful job, and I'm glad you had this availible to you(this blog).

Here for hoping you just need to dust.

Cherelle Capra said...

LeahJane, this is an incredible and thoughtful post striking to the inner core of each who reads I am sure along with myself. I definitely shed a few more tears of my own as I read. I too, worry about the duration of the fires and the loss in numbers of wildlife and people. This is a reminder of how valuable life is and how quick we are as humans to band together for a good cause. Thank you for posting at a difficult time for the sake of awareness and to all the readers...again, show your support and make some purchases that matter and help this part of the world which needs it urgently !!

Margo Imako said...

I was in the Top End in 1995 and absolutely loved it. Now one of my best friends is living in Melbourne, so I felt that I absolutely had to be a part of the effort. I'm honored that you chose my corset to model in, and even happier that there were so many others who are contributing! Thank you so much for this excellent post! God Bless!

Ruina Kessel said...

Oh LeahJane! Huge massive hugs for you and your fellow Victorians! I have absolutely no ability to really know what it must be like, but my heart goes out to you all.

And thank you for featuring my eyes, I'm deeply honored :)

Funnily enough, without having read this post, I picked almost that exact outfit (the hair and corset set) to wander around in SL today.


Jynx Dragonash said...

WOW LeahJane, a remarkable and moving post. I too am from Victoria and it is a very emotional time for us all, I have also gone through a number of tissues myself. To see the devastation that these bushfires have caused is heartbreaking. Your pics are amazing and your avi is stunning. I did take your advise and personally thanked some of the creators that are helping with the Bushfire Appeal. The simple gesture of a Thank you can go along way. I would also like to Thank you too LeahJane for posting on subject that is close to your heart and getting the word out.

Cheers to you, LeahJane Cazalet!

LeahJane Cazalet said...

Thanks everyone!