opinion

Let's talk about what Celeste Barber has done to help Australia's bushfires in just a week.

Read Mamamia’s comprehensive guide to how you can help in the wake of Australia’s bushfires.

Aussie comedian Celeste Barber has just hit her goal of raising $50 million to fight the Australian bushfires.

That number is truly staggering, but even more staggering is how it continues to rise by thousands every time you refresh the page.

Celeste posted on her Instagram Stories on Saturday morning, letting her followers know she’d hit her goal with the words: “Power to the people.”

Her husband, Api Robin, also shared to Instagram a photo of Celeste in tears as donation continued to roll in, with the caption: “Overwhelmed to say the least.”

Celeste Barber
Celeste Barber's bushfire fundraiser has hit her goal of $50 million. Image: Instagram @celestebarber

It's been just over a week since the NSW-born entertainer shared a plea for help on Facebook, asking her global audience of millions to donate whatever they could to help the NSW Rural Fire Service fight the widespread bushfires that have been burning since November 2019.

So far, over one million people from around the world, including high profile names like Natalie Portman and Lizzo, have answered the call.

In less than 24 hours, the fundraiser that started out with a hope of raising $30,000 went absolutely gangbusters. The figure raised was in the millions within 24 hours.

Throughout Barber's campaign, the total amount raised has jumped by tens of thousands within minutes. She's vowed to continue asking for more and more money, because she knows the NSW RFS, as well as a number of other charities supporting those affected by Australia's bushfires, need "so much".

Aside from watching the devastation of the NSW, VIC and SA bushfires on the TV from her living room like many of us, Barber is in contact with her family who are on the ground experiencing it firsthand.

ADVERTISEMENT

Barber's in-laws, the immediate family of her husband Api Robin, live in Eden on NSW's South Coast.

On Sunday morning, Barber said her father-in-law has been evacuated, while her mother-in-law and brother-in-law sat on tug boats waiting to be evacuated.

Photos from the family's home show a terrifying blood-red sky, the same sky millions of Australians will continue waking up to in the days, weeks and months to come.

It's Barber's personal connection with the fires that have likely caused her campaign to resonate so strongly with so many people - both internationally and at home.

On Wednesday, Facebook confirmed that the comedian's fundraiser is now the largest ever created on the platform globally.

Also having raised significant funds is a fundraiser for WIRES - a wildlife rescue service - which has raised over $8 million, and one for Victoria's Country Fire Authority, which has surpassed $1.6 million.

We'll keep updating this story as Celeste Barber's fundraiser undoubtedly continues to soar, but right now, we wanted to take a moment to simply say, thank you.

Thank you to our firefighters and volunteers. Thank you to everyone who has donated funds, however big or small. And thank you, Celeste.

Because when we felt like no one was paying attention as Australia burnt to the ground, YOU demanded the world see us. YOU made them care. And most importantly, YOU encouraged them to dig deep into their pockets.

For that, we can't ever thank you enough.

You can donate to Celeste Barber's fundraiser on Facebook here. You can also donate funds to the organisations below:

... And there's more.

Mamamia Out Loud, our bi-weekly podcast, is coming to Melbourne for a live show, with 100 per cent of all ticket proceeds going to the Australian Red Cross disaster relief and recovery fund.

It's a brand new show, full of laughs and news and opinions and a few special surprises, with Mia Freedman, Holly Wainwright and Jessie Stephens, on February the 11th. You can buy tickets right now at mamamia.com.au/events. See you there! 

Feature image: Getty.

00:00 / ???