Celeste Barber's Australian bushfire fundraiser hits $45,000,000
On January 3, Australian comedian Celeste Barber set up a Facebook fundraiser for The Trustee for NSW Rural Fire Service & Brigades Donations Fund in an effort to raise money for those currently battling the devastating wildfires across Australia.
As of this writing, nearly 1.2 million people have donated and the total amount raised in the fundraiser stands at $46,691,083 AUD (£24.4 million / $32 million USD). The total raised is expected to surpass $50 million later today.
Barber captioned the post: "Please help anyway you can. This is terrifying. We need your help."
In an interview with 7 News earlier this week, Barber said: "People are amazing. Power to the people. Someone needed to do something and the people have done something."
Per the Daily Mail, the bushfires have so far claimed 25 lives across the country, as well as destroying more than 1,600 homes and leaving around one billion animals dead.
Yesterday, Barber posted a video to Instagram slamming the last of donations from the world's billionaires - after so many donated to last year's Notre Dame fire:
But Barber isn't the only high profile celebrity contributing to the crisis in Australia.
Yesterday, during a concert in Sydney, Elton John revealed that he would be donating $1,000,000 to the firefighters battling the fires and the victims affected by the blazes. In the video below, recorded by a fan at the concert, Elton John emotionally revealed how much he "loves" Australia in a heartfelt speech.
In his speech, Elton says: "You should all be in awe of the work the firefighters are doing. This is a magnificent country. To see what is happening here breaks my heart, so we have to come together, we have to fight. I love Australia so much.
"There are people out there who have lost their lives, trying to save homes. There are people who have lost their lives, and their homes."
As the crowd started to applaud the 'Candle In The Wind' singer, he added: "Therefore tonight, I will be pledging $1million."
In addition, Chris Hemsworth revealed on Tuesday that he and his family would be donating $1 million to help support the "firefighters, the people on the front line, the people who have suffered, the communities that have taken a hit and who are in desperate need of our support."
Watch Chris Hemsworth discuss Austalia's 'challenging time' below:
Writing on Instagram, the Marvel star wrote:
"Hi everyone. Like you, I want to support the fight against the bushfires here in Australia. My family and I are contributing a million dollars. Hopefully you guys can chip in too. Every penny counts so whatever you can muster up is greatly appreciated. In my bio I’ve added links to support the fire fighters, organisations and charities who are working flat out to provide support and relief during this devastating and challenging time. Beyond appreciative to everyone around the world for their well wishes and donations. It really does make a difference, so dig deep! Love ya."
And on Monday, Wolf Of Wall Street actress Margot Robbie held back tears as she pleaded with the public to donate what they can.
Watch Robbie's emotional plea below:
Through tears, Robbie said:
"I’m sure you’re all aware of what is happening in Australia at the moment with the fires… I wanted you to see how beautiful our country is, because it is so beautiful and it’s really hurting right now. It really, really needs you so please, please donate anything you can.
"Whatever you would have spent on your next cup of coffee, even one dollar would help. It’s so needed right now.
"Please, please if you haven’t already donated, please do and let’s give future generations the childhood I was so lucky to have.
Chris and his family become the latest in a long line of celebrities who have donated considerable sums of money to help the Australian fire services tackling the wildfires.
Australian singer Kylie Minogue also revealed earlier this week that she would be pledging $500,000 towards the immediate firefighting efforts tackling the resilient blazes. Writing on an Instagram post, the 51-year-old singer said:
"Last year I had the incredible opportunity of visiting some of the many beautiful places in my homeland for the first time. Returning home to such devastation throughout much of the country is heartbreaking. As a family, we’ve donated $500,000 towards the immediate firefighting efforts and the ongoing support which will be required. Big or small, from near or far, any support will help those affected by the devastating bushfires. With love, The Minogue Family."
And this weekend, actress Nicole Kidman also pledged $500,000 to the Rural Fire Services, writing on her social media accounts: "Our family's support, thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by the fires all over Australia. We are donating $500,000 to the Rural Fire Services who are all doing and giving so much right now."
And last week, singer Pink revealed she would also be donating $500,000 to the fire departments fighting the wildfires:
The 'Just Like A Pill' singer wrote to her followers: "I am totally devastated watching what is happening in Australia right now with the horrific bushfires. I am pledging a donation of $500,000 directly to the local fire services that are battling so hard on the frontlines. My heart goes out to our friends and family in Oz."
If you would like to donate to the brave services fighting these bushfires, please find the necessary information below...
How you can donate:
The NSW Rural Fire Service has multiple options for direct donations. You can donate to the RFS as a whole, or to specific brigades. You can donate through bank transfer, credit card or cheque.
For bank transfers, there is a set bank account (Account Name: NSW Rural Fire Service, BSB: 032-001, Account No: 171051). This account is for the RFS as a whole.
This link will take you to the landing page for credit card donations. You can donate to the RFS general fund or choose specific brigades from the dropdown box.
In Queensland, Fire and Rescue advise that you can donate both money and items through the website givit.org.au. The website allows fire-affected communities to list what they specifically need, from water tanks in Yeppoon to school uniforms in Zillmere.
In Victoria, the Country Fire Authority has two bank accounts - one for specific brigades and one for the general fund.
If you cannot find the particular brigade you are looking for, you can contact them directly.