United front to lend a hand

The stories of those who have been affected by bushfires that have been burning since late last year has been heartbreaking to hear, including the devastation of people's homes and the loss of wildlife.

However, it has been heartwarming to hear how Australians are coming together and assisting those affected by the fires, whether it has been donating money, items or their own time in volunteering.

Several people locally are doing their bit to help those affected closer to our doorstep, on Kangaroo Island where more than 155,000 hectares have been burnt since December.

While the fires are hundreds of kilometres away we have been reminded of its devastation by the smoke in the air, and by the burnt remnants of bush that have been washing up on some local beaches.

Restaurant owners Andy Williams and Clare Martin spent a lot of time on Kangaroo Island and have friends who have been affected, prompting their own fundraiser at their restaurant 1802 in Coffin Bay.

They join the many people and businesses raising their own money, such as Port Lincoln's Double Corner Store their fundraiser jar, pictured with staff member Shelley Toth.

The Lower Eyre Peninsula knows very well how devastating bushfires can be, most notably the Wangary fire in 2005 which burnt about 78,000 hectares, destroyed 93 homes and claimed nine lives.

Just as there was support for this region from across the country, so have Lower Eyre residents joined the many fundraising efforts being done to help those affected by the fires.

One element of the Australian spirit is lending a helping hand to those "doing it tough", and the way the country has come together to help those who have lost homes, livlihoods and loved ones shows that this is still truly alive and well.