Help Those in Need!

Donate to the Victims of the SSO Bush Fires

Dear iTelescope Member,

On January the 13th 2013, the Warrumbungle Bushfire spread across Siding Spring Observatory, destroying more then 49 homes and over 40,000 hectares of land.  We have had many members asking us where they can contribute to aid those who are affected by this catastrophe.

Thanks to the heroic efforts of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, the Wildcat water bombing helicopter and all of the heroes that stood together against the fires, almost all of the systems and structures at SSO were saved.

Sadly the lodge and some of our closest friends homes were destroyed as the fire passed through. Many people lost absolutely everything they own.   

We have spent some time trying to find the right fund to contribute to. The Warrumbungle Shire Mayor's Bushfire Appeal aims to provide a location where the public can donate to assist the victims of the fires that swept through Siding Spring and the surrounding areas.  All payments donated to this foundation will go directly to the victims, to help them begin to rebuild their lives. 
We are also donating to the ANU Siding Spring Observatory Fire - Staff Emergency Relief Fund, which will give funds directly to the members of Siding Spring that have been affected by these terrible fires.  They will give priority to those with the most urgent needs, especially to those that currently have no place to call home.  

Many of our friends and colleagues suffered directly from these fires, losing their homes, vehicles, and belongings. We want to do everything we can to help bring back a sense of normality to their lives.  We want to help them get past these hard times and move on.  Anything you can do to help in this endeavor would be greatly appreciated.

There are many ways to donate aid those that lost everything in the fire.  We will be doing a mass collection via paypal with 50% of the donation going to the ANU Siding Spring Observatory Fire - Staff Emergency Relief Fund, and the remaining 50% going to the Warrumbungle Shire Mayor's Bushfire Appeal.  To donate this way, please click the Paypal link below and enter the amount you wish to donate.  We will continue to collect donations for as long as they come in and 100% of all donations will be passed on to the two foundations.

The second way is to go directly to the Warrumbungle Shire Mayor's Bushfire Appeal webpage and donate through the instructions located on the web page.  

You can also go directly to the ANU Siding Spring Observatory Fire - Staff Emergency Relief Fund website and donate by following the directions and links on the page.  You can donate online or via the donation form available on the site.

For more specific information about the Bushfires and the devastation they caused, we have collected a few web sites from both news bloggers and from eye witnesses who suffered through this disaster:

Joshua J. Smith, a Photographer, was sent by Reuters International to document the event.

Amanda Bauer, author of the Astropixie blog, and a friend of iTelescope.Net covered the entirety of the event.  She stood as one of the sources of information during the disaster, helping consolidate all the information into her amazing blog.

Thanks to the hard work of everyone involved, iTelescope: Siding Spring is now back up and running and we want to ensure that our good fortune is paid back to the members of the ANU that stood with us and aided us, despite having lost everything themselves.

We truly hope that you will donate to this cause, even $1.00 will help!

Thank you!
The iTelescope Team

Images Credit of RFS Website
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