During times of grief and devastation, we see glimmers of hope in the form of everyday Aussies banding together for the greater good.
One of these inspirational Australians happens to be Sydney mother Ophelia Haragli who runs the popular ‘My Sisters Keeper’ page on Facebook.
When learning about our volunteer firefighters’ desperate need for respiratory masks, she couldn’t help but do something.
“Given that I advocate for cancer patients and I talk to people everyday about their health it seemed the most logical thing to do… to roll out masks to protect our volunteers from the short and long term implications of breathing in that sh*t,” she explains.
For just $112, you can gift a respirator to help protect the lungs of our firefighters from the damage of these terrible fires, all thanks to Ophelia.
“I did my research on masks and called fifty companies to get all the specs on masks that are made to endure and to filter all the crap that comes out of fires,” she reveals.
“And then I posted and saw that everyone on here was just as impassioned about helping these volunteers as I am and are feeling as powerless as I am too.
“A mask doesn’t mean that silicone product you purchased… it means saving a human life and reducing their exposure to carcinogens that cause cancer.”
Ophelia has already raised close to $50,000, and delivered each and every respiratory mask to the firefighters who need it most. However, that’s not enough.
“We need to get to at least 1500 kits this week,” she says. “I’d love to see 7,000 masks being shipped out or 50,000 across Australia.”
Despite the heartache and time it’s taken to raise the funds, Ophelia says it’s the photos and messages from the firefighters she’s helped that gets her through.
“My proudest moment was when one of the brigades I’d been liaising with sent me pics of them wearing the masks I sourced and crowd funded for,” she explains.
Every day, Ophelia posts updates of the brigades across the country that require help.
These brigades have personally contacted Ophelia for assistance, and she is encouraging more to submit their requests too. All they have to do is jot down their captains name, phone number, name of their brigade and the number of active members, and send that to Ophelia on her Facebook page, My Sisters Keeper.
With an abundance of scams circulating, Ophelia assures that all funds are going solely towards the respiratory masks, stating: “All money donated is going straight to the firefighters. There is no other money going into it except for the firefighters. We are both signatories to the account.”
Rest assured your funds are going to the right place.
If you or anyone you know would like to buy a mask for a firefighter or contribute to one, simple make a payment to the following account:
Account number: 436029234
Description: MSK firefighters
For international payments the SWIFT CODE is NATAAU3302S
She adds, “No amount is too small. Last time the smaller amounts made $3000 and I bought extra pre-filters for the brigades and masks.”
To learn more about the fundraising effort, click here.