The fires in Cape Town last week have given rise to a community spirit that reaches far beyond the Mother City – and even South Africa. Actor and director Kevin Spacey is one US celeb who’s joined the call for donations to the Volunteer Wildfire Services (VWS).
— Kevin Spacey (@KevinSpacey) March 6, 2015
We’re with Spacey here: among all of our superhero firefighters, the folks at VWS deserve a special mention: the 180-strong team comprises entirely of volunteers, who are not paid for their work.
The Gingko Agency has produced a short video – highlighting the spirit of the Cape Town firefighting community and calling for donations to VWS.
VWS marketing & communications director Patrick Ryan told The Daily Vox that there has been a “large increase in donations” since the fires last week. He was not able to give a specific figure, since the money received has not yet been audited, and more donations are still incoming. However, a fundraising drive by Kfm last week generated more than R3-million.
VWS has been going for 15 years but, as a volunteer organisation its existence has until now been somewhat precarious.
“[The money raised] is going to be crucial to our longevity,” Ryan said. “Every year we’ve literally been existing on a shoestring budget. Now, once the impact of this fire has died down, we’ll still able to keep going.”
Ryan said that the money raised would go towards keeping the VWS vehicles, which are all second-hand, running as well as providing the correct protective equipment for the organisation’s firefighters.
If you would like to make a donation to VWS, their website offers a range of options, from one-off donations to ongoing pledges.