Comedian Celeste Barber has raised over $19 million so far for Australian bushfire victims
Comedian Celeste Barber has raised over $17 million so far for the victims of the ongoing Australian bushfires.
This hopeful news comes in the wake of widespread devastation which has seen, 19 fatalities with dozens still missing, hundreds of families displaced, properties destroyed, and an estimated half a billion animals lose their lives in the wildfires and thousands of people "choke" on its fumes, which have also resulted in widespread displacement.
Australia has now declared a state of emergency:
In response, Barber, 37, wrote on the fundraising page: "I'm raising money for The Trustee for NSW Rural Fire Service & Brigades Donations Fund and your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate a lot or a little. Anything helps."
This request resulted in a staggering response from around the world, with the total growing a rate of $693 per second, as of this writing.
In an interview with 7 News, Barber said: "People are amazing. Power to the people. Someone needed to do something and the people have done something."
However, she is far from the only celebrity to use her platform to draw attention to the unfolding disaster.
Yesterday, singer Pink announced that she was donating $500,000 to the cause.
In a tweet, the 'Like A Pill' singer said: "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."
This generation was matched today by actress Nicole Kidman, who grew up in Australia.
Two people lost their lives on Kangaroo Island on Saturday, Australian authorities confirmed. The blaze responsible was as "virtually unstoppable" and tore through 14,000 hectares (35,000 acres) of Flinders Chase National Park. The total death toll from the fires, which began in September, now stands at 21.
If you would like to donate to Barber's fundraiser, you can do so here, there is also additional donation 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.