Hannah Dale, founder and creative maestro of Wrendale Designs has put her art where her heart is and is leading a charge to raise money for the WWF Australia Appeal to fund emergency care for injured wildlife and support the response, recovery and restoration teams in Australia caused by the ongoing bushfires.
To raise the money, Hannah painted a brand new watercolour, of a mother and baby koala that she is to give away through a draw, open to all those who make a donation, no matter how big or small through a dedicated JustGiving page. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/wrendale-designs
In the last two days since the site opened, over £16,000 has been pledged for the charity cause.
“Myself and everyone at Wrendale are just heartbroken to see the devastating effect the bushfires are having on lives, homes and animals in Australia,” said Hannah. “It’s such a dire situation. I spent time on a national park in Queensland during my zoology degree and so I just keep thinking about all the wildlife and rural communities we knew.”
Hannah says feels “absolutely overwhelmed by the amazing response already” to its WWF Australia Appeal, but urges those who have not yet donated to do so, if they can.
“All donations are appreciated and one donor will be picked at random to receive the original painting. Please be sure to leave your full name and contact details when you donate so we can easily contact the winner,” she adds.
Jenny Cummins, managing director of Sydney-based McMillan Cards (which distributes Wrendale Designs as well as many other UK card publishers in Australia) shares what life is like during these terrifying times.
“I have been contacted by so many of our greeting card friends in the UK just to check we are OK and to express their horror and deep concern about the terrible fire storms and the consequences.
Several have taken direct action and sent monies to the authorities in charge, the generosity from our friends is really quite overwhelming and so gratefully received.
Hannah’s art is so beautiful as is she for expressing her feelings the way she has.
The main thing for now is to give immediate assistance to those people who have been directly affected and especially to find and help the animals that have survived. And they need money.
For us at McMillan we remain unaffected directly. We are lucky so far and very grateful as we are all surrounded by bushland, both where we live and also the office/warehouse building.
Some of have lived through big fires. You never forget the deafening noise, the heat, the terrible smell afterwards, the fear of watching your house burn and the horror of seeing affected animals and birds, the bush all blackened and reduced to stark tree trunks which smoulder forever.
Yes, our business has been and will be affected economically directly in those areas who have lost everything. Indirectly as well while people generally focus quite rightly on things other than the normal day to day. It is all too sad.
It has been a very ordinary Christmas trading period for many retailers with people preferring to donate money and really not in the mood to spend.
Without rain, the fires will continue and the heat will continue for 2-3 more months which will keep them burning. There is so much fuel on the ground being added to daily by leaf litter from drought stricken trees. Hopefully February will bring good rain as forecast as only rain can stop these fires.
We also have the worst drought in our history, which has and will continue to affect everyone.
We have lost a massive percentage of our breeding stock and crops. It is widespread and so heart breaking.
I think McMillan might be looking at a tough year but we love what we do, we are well established and can survive. I know we have a lot of support and understanding behind us. We thank everyone for their concern.”
Top: The beautiful artwork that Hannah created specially for the WWF Australia Appeal.