The first thing a lot of folks notice when they walk into our 149st location, is the abundance of our animal coworkers.
We think quite highly of our animal associates and value the work they put in each and every day.
It is not an exaggeration to say we’d all be lost without them, and that’s got us reflecting.
In 2016, we here in Alberta experienced our largest evacuation effort to date. 88,000 people were rushed from their homes, 600,000 hectares of land burned, and roughly 10% of homes and businesses in Fort McMurray were rendered piles of ash to be carried away by the wind.
Us, you, and probably a lot of the folks we know were impacted by the tragedy.
With the Fort McMurray wildfires, colloquially known as ‘The Beast’, still fresh in our collective memories, it’s now perhaps a fitting time for us Albertans to remind ourselves who among the world nations came in our hour of need to help us slay it.
Australia has sent fire personnel to Canada four times in the past several years to help us protect our homes, our animals, and our lives. Put more bluntly – we owe them.
At present count, the Australian Wildfires have claimed 24 human lives, 1500 homes, at least 5 million hectares of land, and killed almost a half a billion animals. That last fact is all the more tragic when you take into account Australia’s unique and relatively isolated ecosystems – themselves marvels of our planets capacity for life. With the smoke so thick and plentiful that it can be seen from space, the residents of those ecosystems are now suffocating in the hundreds of millions.
Albertans should not be content to simply grieve this loss with rest of the World, which is why we here at Kastner Auctions have decided to support the effort and take donations to help those who helped us and pay down the debt our province owes those fire crews.
Kastner Auctions will be offering free shipping for any donations to help ease the burden, so you can avoid shipping fees. Our Edmonton location at 11205 149st will be accepting both monetary and item donations at the front desk. Please bring your goods and donations to the front desk.
If you, like us, have seen the devastation the fires have caused and felt compelled to swaddle a Koala in a blanket – now is YOUR opportunity.
Here’s a handy list of some of the other places where you too can donate online to help .
Support the citizens
St. Vincent de Paul Society: The St. Vincent de Paul Society is an Australian Charity that provides food, clothing, and crisis accommodation to people both during and after they have been impacted by the bush fires.
The Salvation Army Disaster Relief Fund: The Salvation Army is a global organization currently operating in several areas of the crisis, providing disaster relief and councilors.
Red Cross Australia: The Red Cross is currently accepting donations to help reunite those families separated by evacuations and help them cover their expenses as they try and rebuild.
Support the fire crews
New South Wales Rural Fire Service: The NSW Rural Fire Service is currently accepting donations to volunteer fire brigades currently operating in one of the most dangerous areas of the emergency.
Victoria Country Fire Authority: The Victoria Country Fire Authority Bushfire Disaster Appeal allows you to donate to either the general fund, or to a specific brigade of your choosing.
Support the wildlife
WIRES: Wildlife Information, Rescue, and Education Service public gift fund is collecting donations to help rescue and care for the animals injured and displaced by the fires.
Port Macquarie Koala Hospital: Currently sitting at over $4 million, the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital has started a Go Fund Me under the banner of “Help Thirsty Koalas Devastated By Recent Fires” to provide food and aide to Koalas impacted by the fires.
On behalf of the Kastner family of hardworking animals and people alike, we thank you for your generosity, and wish you a happy and safe New Year.