Australia’s catastrophic bushfire crisis, which began in October last year, has now killed at least 27 people and possibly a billion animals, forced thousands of people to evacuate from holiday beaches, burned more than 10 million hectares of land and destroyed more than 1,900 homes.
Local and international celebrities like Celeste Barber, Nicole Kidman and Pink have made generous donations as the crisis continues. But many wonder where their money will go.
Various firefighting services, wildlife shelters and charities are among the organisations receiving funds from famous people.
Where The Stars Are Sending Their Money:
New South Wales Rural Fire Service
Donations made to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) will benefit volunteer firefighters who are on the ground with equipment, training and emergency resources. Donate to a local brigade here.
The NSW RFS has also set up a separate page with specific accounts for the families of volunteer firefighters Samuel McPaul, Geoffrey Keaton and Andrew O’Dwyer, who tragically lost their lives while on the front line this bushfire season. Donate to their families here.
Victoria’s Country Fire Authority
People interested in helping firefighters in Victoria can make a contribution through the state’s Country Fire Authority. There are two funds set up — the CFA Brigades Donation Fund allows you to choose which brigade to donate to, while the Country Fire Authority Public Fund supports volunteer leadership and development training.
Australian Red Cross
The Australian Red Cross’ Disaster Relief and Recovery initiative supports the teams that are responding to emergencies across the country, as well as evacuation centres for people who are fleeing fire-affected areas. Money will go toward shelter, relief supplies, psychological first aid at evacuation centres, phone calls, and visits to communities as the rebuilding phase kicks in.
The organisation is dedicating $15 million to help people meet immediate needs, including cash grants for those who have lost their homes.
The bushfires have killed hundreds of millions of animals. Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) receives up to 1,000 calls a day for wildlife rescue advice and assistance for injured or orphaned animals.
“We need urgent assistance to help with these unprecedented emergencies. To help rescue wildlife please [give] generously today,” reads a statement on the WIRES website.
St Vincent de Paul Society Bushfire Appeal (NSW)
St Vincent de Paul Society’s Bushfire Appeal in NSW is raising money to help people in the state who have lost their homes. Funds will go toward food, clothing, essential items and accomodation, as well as support services that can provide people with emotional assistance.
According to the organisation’s website:
- $50 can provide food for a family evacuated from their home.
- $150 can help with bills and unexpected expenses for a household recovering from a bushfire.
- $1,100 can provide bedding, furniture and appliances to those whose homes were damaged or destroyed.
With teams on standby to attend to emergency situations across the country, Salvation Army Emergency Services (SAES) relies on donations from the public.
“Our teams are providing meals to evacuees and frontline responders, and will continue to provide whatever support is needed as the situation develops,” said Major Topher Holland, the general manager of strategic emergency and disaster management.
The organisation’s website specifies that:
- $80 can help provide household essentials during an emergency.
- $125 can help reach isolated families in an emergency.
- $250 can help provide urgent immediate assistance, like food and shelter.
- $1,000 can go toward ongoing care and support in the aftermath of an emergency.
Celebrities Who Have Donated:
Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban
Earlier this month, Urban informed fans that he and Kidman had donated $500,000 toward rural fire services.
“Our family’s support, thoughts, and prayers are with everyone affected by the fires all over Australia,” Urban wrote on Instagram. “We are donating $500,000 to the Rural Fire Services who are all doing and giving so much right now.”
Pink pledged to donate $500,000 to local fire services.
“I am totally devastated watching what is happening in Australia right now with the horrific bushfires,” the 40-year-old singer, whose real name is Alecia Beth Moore, wrote on Instagram.
“I am pledging a donation of $500,000 directly to the local fire services that are battling so hard on the frontlines,” she said. “My heart goes out to our friends and family in Oz.”
Pink also shared the details of state fire services her fans could donate to, including NSW Rural Fire Service, QLD Fire and Rescue, SA Country Fire Service, VIC Country Fire Authority, Tasmania Fire Service and WA fire services.
The band recently announced on Twitter it was donating $750,000 to the NSW Rural Fire Service and the Country Fire Authority in Victoria.
The talk show host said she’s donated to three charities: NSW Rural Fire Service, the Red Cross and WIRES, though she hasn’t specified an amount.
She has also launched a GoFundMe page that aims to raise US$5 million for firefighting services and wildlife shelters.
“Australia is in an emergency like nothing anyone on earth has seen before,” the TV star wrote on Twitter. “Please help. Donate if you can. The loss of homes, and the lives of people and animals is catastrophic.”
Canadian musician Shawn Mendes said his foundation donated to the Red Cross, NSW Rural Fire Service and the SA Country Fire Service.
“Every time I’ve been to Australia I’ve fallen more and more in love with the people & wildlife. Please join me to help support relief efforts for the devastating effects of the Australian wildfires,” the singer wrote on Instagram.
“The @shawnfoundation & I are making donations to benefit the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund & two local organizations - the NSW Rural Fire Service and the South Australian Country Fire Service. Every donation matters - see graphic in my post for more information.”
The Australian singer recently told fans that the Minogue family had donated $500,000 “towards the immediate firefighting efforts and the ongoing support which will be required.”
She tagged the NSW Rural Fire Service, Victoria’s Country Fire Authority, SA Country Fire Service, Australian Red Cross and WIRES in her Instagram post.
Australian comedian Celeste Barber has also made headlines in the past week, with her Facebook fundraiser already attracting over $50 million in donations. After initially dedicating the money to The Trustee for NSW Rural Fire Service & Brigades Donations Fund, she announced the money would be distributed across all states of Australia.
Montgomery has started a GoFundMe page with a target of $500,000 to go toward the Australian Red Cross.
Former “X Factor Australia” winner Dami Im and her husband Noah have donated $10,000 to the Australian Red Cross.
“Watching the news I’ve been feeling so helpless. Noah and I are giving our support through the Red Cross,” the musician recently wrote on Instagram. “Let’s pray for rain and healing on our land and continue our support wherever we can.”
The Disney actor didn’t specify how much she donated, but wrote on Twitter: “(I just made a donation. Anything & everything will help) We are with you Australia. @RedCrossAU.”
Australian DJ and musician Flume donated $100,000 to WIRES.