Australia is currently experiencing a cataclysmic series of bushfires that are unprecedented in their scale and destruction. Dozens of people have died, hundreds of millions of animals have reportedly perished, thousands of homes have been lost, and more than 20 million acres have been razed. Over 100 fires are still burning in New South Wales alone and, with minimal rain forecast, there are no guarantees these fires will be extinguished any time soon. Our home city of Melbourne is blanketed with foul smoke that has drifted in from over 1000kms away. It’s a stark reminder of the devastating pollution released into the atmosphere.
On behalf of everyone at Sneaker Freaker, we are humbled by the bravery of the firefighters working 24/7 in inhumane conditions. Credit to all the back-up crews and volunteers that are keeping them resourced and as safe as can be. It’s impossible not to shed a tear as we collectively contemplate how tough and resilient these amazing men and women are. The fact that so many deaths have been firefighters trying to save their local communities is heartbreaking.
During this tough time, many have dug deep to support those in need – their generosity a small glimmer of hope for those impacted by the blazes. Sneaker Freaker would like to acknowledge the contributions from the Australian sneaker community to support the relief efforts. Whether it's donations or creating awareness, they have been nothing short of extraordinary. Big shouts to Accent Group, adidas, The Kickz Stand, Up There Store, Supply Store, Sneakerboy, Fast Times Skateboarding, Casey Foley/Nike SB Australia crew, Chase Shiel, Saintside, and the countless others for all their donations. It’s incredible what we can do when we band together.
To add to the efforts, Sneaker Freaker has pledged $25,000 to Wildlife Victoria. This money will assist with the ongoing rehabilitation of our native wildlife – the unique birds, echidnas, possums, koalas, kangaroos and other animals that define Australia – that are badly injured and no longer have a sustainable habitat in which to live.
Thanks to all the local crew and people from over the world that have already donated money. There are, of course, many worthy charities. Aside from Wildlife Victoria, we can also recommend the Country Fire Authority (CFA), WIRES Wildlife Rescue, or the Community Enterprise Foundation, which is promising 100 per cent of donated funds will go directly to communities in need.