Celebrities, philanthropists, generous individuals and businesses from Australia and overseas have together raised more than $140 million for bushfire victims across the country.
Australian comedian Celeste Barber, whose social media campaign has generated more than $45 million in donations from around the world, has been the most successful fundraiser so far. Starting with a humble goal of $30,000 for the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS), her campaign went viral. Having raised more than $7.5 million a day, Barber says she will consult with the NSW RFS to ensure donations are distributed to fire services in other states.
Local and international celebrities alike are using their online platforms to plead with their audiences to support the plight of Australians. US talk show host Ellen Degeneres raised more than $300,000 of a $5 million goal within 10 hours, and Australian actor Dacre Montgomery’s campaign has raised a similar amount. By selling nude photos, Instagram model Kaylen Ward estimates she has raised more than $1 million. Actress and Order of Australia recipient Magda Szubanski has teamed up with Will Egg Boy” Connolly to raise a further $100,000 for mental health organisation Beyond Blue.
Elsewhere in Hollywood, famous names are piling onto the growing list of donors. Following US singer P!nk’s donation of $US500,000 ($720,000), Chris Hemsworth and Elton John donated $1 million each. On Wednesday Metallica said they will give $750,000 to the NSW RFS and Victorian Country Fire Authority (CFA), while Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban have given $500,000, matched by Kylie and Dannii Minogue. Australian DJ Flume has given a further $100,000.