'My Heart Goes Out to Our Friends and Family in Oz': How Celebs Are Helping Combat the Devastation in Australia
The actor’s newly-established environmental organization, Earth Alliance, announced on Jan. 9 that it will donate $3 million to the Australia Wildfire Fund.
The organization, which DiCaprio co-chairs, shared on Twitter that its donation is meant to “assist firefighting efforts, aid communities, enable wildlife rescue, and support long term restoration.”
During an episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the host announced that she launched a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of $5 million to help the firefighters, residents and animals of Australia.
Shutterfly kicked the campaign off with a $100,000 donation, and as of Jan. 10, the campaign has raised more than $1.3 million from people in all 50 states and more than 85 countries.
The donations will go to the Australian Red Cross and WIRES, Australia’s largest wildfire rescue organization.
“I love Australia. I love Australia so much, I even married an Australian,” she told her audience, referencing wife Portia de Rossi. “Right now, Australia needs our help. Wildfires have been burning for four months and with record-breaking heat.”
“We have a multi-tiered plan supporting existing fire fighting teams, while creating and outfitting more teams. This is critical since the current number of firefighters and this fire are David and Goliath,” she wrote, with a rep adding that Frankel has already secured 50 U.S. firefighters who can fly out to help, and is hoping to recruit 300 more.
“When comparing the current number of firefighters in Australia to other massive wildfires, we see where the void is.”
“We are in direct talks with the executive directors of various Fire Services and are working directly with them to enhance their workforce and equipment,” she continued. “We will visit shelters to distribute aid and cash cards to those who have lost everything. We will provide aid for the suffering animals in need.”
Frankel encouraged those interested to donate to BStrong.
The band — along with their foundation All Within My Hands — is pledging 750,000 Australian dollars, equal to almost 515,000 U.S. dollars, to the NSW Rural Fire Service and the Country Fire Authority in Victoria to aid relief efforts.
“We are totally overwhelmed by the news of the wildfires sweeping through millions of acres across Australia, with major impact in New South Wales and Victoria,” the heavy metal band said in a statement. “The resulting destruction and devastating effects on all residents, animals, the environment and the incredible land in Australia is truly heartbreaking.”
The two firefighting organizations are based in New South Wales and Victoria, the two areas of the continent most affected by the fires.
Comedian Barber launched a wildly successful Facebook fundraiser benefitting The Trustee for NSW Rural Fire Service & Brigades Donations Fund.
The fundraiser, which launched on Jan. 3, has since raised more than $32 million. At the time of publication, 1.2 million people had donated to the page.
According to Business Insider Australia, the page is Facebook’s largest global fundraiser.
Serena Williams & Roger Federer
Top tennis stars Williams, Federer and Rafael Nadal announced on Jan. 8 that they would be playing in the exhibition match — along with Naomi Osaka, Caroline Wozniacki, Nick Kyrgios and Stefanos Tsitsipas, CNN reported.
All ticket proceeds from the Australian Open Rally for Relief will be donated to bushfire relief efforts. The games are set to take place on Jan. 15 at Melbourne Park’s Rod Laver Arena, days ahead of the Grand Slam tennis tournament, which begins on Jan. 19.
Additionally, Williams donated her winnings from the January Auckland Classic tournament to relief efforts.
“I’ve been playing in Australia for over 20 years and it has been really hard for me to watch all the news and everything that has been happening in Australia with all the fires,” she said as she was presented with her award. “So much has happened so I decided at the beginning of the tournament, every match I played I’d donate a dress and I’d also donate all my prize money for a great cause. So thank you guys.”
The makeup mogul is donating $1 million to various relief efforts in Australia, PEOPLE exclusively confirmed.
Jenner’s generous donation came after she faced backlash for posting a photo of herself wearing $1,480 Louis Vuitton mink fur slippers on her Instagram Stories amid the wildfires devastation, but a source told PEOPLE that Jenner wants to do whatever she can to help Australia.
“That post was completely unintentional,” the insider said. “Kylie stands behind her desire to want to help provide relief towards the devastation the fires have caused.”
“Every time I’ve been to Australia I’ve fallen more in love with the people & wildlife. Join me & support relief efforts for the devastating effects of the wildfires,” the singer tweeted on Jan. 7. “The @shawnfoundation & I are making donations to @RedCrossAU, NSW Rural Fire Service & SA Country Fire Service,” he added, along with a photo of himself feeding a kangaroo and a list of organizations and websites his followers can choose to donate to.
During a performance at Qudos Bank Arena at Sydney Olympic Park, the singer made a special shoutout to firefighters before announcing that he will donate $1 million to relief efforts.
“We should all be in the awe of the work the firefighters are doing,” John told the crowd in a video captured by a fan and shared on Twitter. “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.”
“And lastly, there’s the plight of the animals, a loss of their habitat that frankly is on a biblical scale and it’s heartbreaking,” he continued. “Therefore tonight, I will be pledging $1 million dollars to support the bushfire relief fund.”
The “Rocket Man” singer concluded, “As I said earlier, this is a magnificent country and I love it here so much and to see what is happening here breaks my heart, so we have to come together, we have to fight and this is my bit towards it. I love Australia so much. To those who have lost their homes, God bless, I hope that your lives will be repaired very, very soon.”
The Australian actor is another star who is generously donating $1 million as the fires continue to rage.
“Hey there guys, as you’re well aware the bushfires in Australia have caused massive devastation,” the 36-year-old actor said in a video shared on Instagram. “They continue to burn, there’s warmer weather on its way, we’re really still in the thick of it here, as is plenty of challenging times ahead still to come.”
“So, what we need is your support and your donations,” Hemsworth continued, sharing that his family is donating $1 million to go toward relief efforts. “That money goes directly to the firefighters, the people on the front lines, the people who have suffered, the communities that have taken a hit and are in desperate need for our support.”
The star urged his fans and followers to join him in contributing in “any way, shape or form.”
“Every dollar counts,” he added, before thanking “everyone who’s sent all their well wishes and donations already. It’s greatly appreciated here in Australia.”
The family of the late Steve Irwin is doing all they can to help animals that have been displaced and injured.
“With so many devastating fires within Australia, my heart breaks for the people and wildlife who have lost so much. I wanted to let you know that we are SAFE,” daughter Bindi shared in an Instagram post.
“There are no fires near us @AustraliaZoo or our conservation properties,” she continued, adding that their family’s Wildlife Hospital has been “busier than ever,” and so far has treated more than 90,000 animal patients.
Nicole Kidman & Keith Urban
The couple, who hold Australia near and dear to their hearts, spoke out on their Instagram accounts about their plans to donate.
“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,” Kidman shared on Instagram.
Urban, who was born in New Zealand and raised in Australia, also shared the same statement on Instagram.
Bridge has decided to equally divide the winning bid between three charities: the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief & Recovery Fund, WIRES Wildlife Rescue Emergency Fund and Wildlife Victoria.
The star used her moment at the Golden Globes to share her appreciation for those who are risking their lives to battle the wildfires.
“There are a lot of Australians in the room tonight, and I know we’re all very grateful for the callouts to our fellow compatriots who are suffering under the bushfires, so thank you,” Blanchett said. “I just want to amplify that by saying, I wanted to do a special call out to the volunteer firefighters who have been at the center of battling the climate disaster that is facing Australia.”
“When one country faces a climate disaster, we all face a climate disaster,” she added. “So thank you very much.”
The American basketball player — who is currently playing for the Illawarra Hawks, an Australian professional basketball team — has pledged one month of his National Basketball League salary to help victims of the fires, according to a statement released by the Hawks.
“It’s sad to see what is happening on the South Coast of Australia,” Ball said in the press release. “People have lost their homes and everything they own. My parents taught me to help out wherever I can, so this is my way of helping out.”
Ball is the younger brother of NBA star Lonzo Ball and is considered a top prospect for the 2020 NBA draft.
Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios also jumped at the chance to help out, first by tweeting at Tennis Australia to suggest that the organization put on a charity exhibition match to raise funds for wildfire victims. He then tweeted that he will be donating $200 for every ace he hits at his upcoming matches.
According to CNN, Kyrgios hit 20 aces at a match on Jan. 3, adding up to a donation of $4,000 Australian.
The actor, who is currently in Sydney filming Marvel’s Shang-Chi, tweeted a screenshot of a longer post he wrote to let fans know that he’s okay.
“The air is occasionally unbreathable and it sometimes rains ash – but that’s nothing compared to the rest of the country,” he wrote. “The areas in NSW and parts of Victoria are REALLY suffering.”
“The fires are raging at a far greater scale than what is happening in California and in the Amazon,” he continued. “NSW and Victoria have declared states of disaster and new evacuation orders are being issued every day,” he added.
In his tweet, Liu reminded his followers that “people are voluntarily risking their lives to keep communities and homes safe!” before adding a link to the NSW Rural Fire Service website, where anyone can donate to help.
“I’m so grateful to be here and celebrate this, but I know tonight, Jan. 5, 2020, we’re not going to look back at this night, in the history books,” the actress began during her 2020 Golden Globes acceptance speech for her role as Dee Dee Blanchard in The Act. Instead of running down a list of thank-yous for the remainder of her time on stage, Arquette used her moment to urge everyone to focus on Australia and the future of our world.
“We’ll see a country on the brink of war. The United States of America, a President tweeting out a threat of 52 bombs, including cultural sites,” she continued. “Young people, risking their lives, traveling across the world. People not knowing if bombs will drop on their kids’ heads.”
“And the continent of Australia on fire,” she added. “So while I love my kids so much, I beg of us all to give them a better world. For our kids and their kids, we have to vote in 2020, and we have to get, beg and plead for everyone we know to vote in 2020. Thank you.”
“I am totally devastated watching what is happening in Australia right now with the horrific bushfires,” the singer tweeted on Jan. 4. “I am pledging a donation of $500,000 directly to the local fire services that are battling so hard on the frontlines,” she added. “My heart goes out to our friends and family in Oz.”
Currently in Queensland on tour, the artist told her Instagram followers that she’s gotten a “real time view into what’s happening with these devastating fires” and from what she’s seen, “this is a global crisis.”
The comedian-actor, who is currently on tour in Australia, enlisted Aussie actor Joel Edgerton to participate in a Twitter video that asks people to donate to the NSW Rural Fire Service. They both pointed out that many people may not know that the Rural firefighters have all volunteered to help battle the fires, which means they aren’t getting paid and they are giving up their time to put their lives on the line.
“While a lot of us very privileged people are having a very nice summer, these guys are having an incredibly tough time and are doing such an incredible job, so donate if you can,” Edgerton said in the clip, while Kroll nodded in agreement.
The duo also created the #FightFireWithAFiver hashtag to encourage those who want to help out to start with just $5.
Hilary Duff & Matthew Koma
The actress took a moment during her honeymoon to post on Instagram about how upset she was about the fires and the “strange feeling of guilt” she had for being in South Africa “where the animals are healthy and free and such devastating circumstances for others [are] occurring at the same moment.” Duff then wrote that she and her husband Koma would be donating a dollar amount “that we feel comfortable with to donate” and asked if others could “please do what you can” to help out as well.
The Australia native pleaded to her 17.6 million Instagram followers to “please donate anything you can.” She tagged several organizations people can donate to on her Instagram bio and Story, including Australian Red Cross and WIRES Wildlife Rescue. She explained that she had gone on “so many different sites to donate” and it took her less than a minute to donate to each before admitting that she’s “terrible at technology,” in an effort to show just how easy it is to help the cause.
She ended her video by saying, “Let’s give future generations that kind of childhood I was so lucky to have.”
The 2020 Golden Globe winner for best actor in a miniseries or TV movie, for his portrayal of Roger Ailes, skipped out on the big night to remain in Australia to help combat the fires. Although Crowe is from New Zealand, he was raised in Australia.
“Make no mistake, the tragedy unfolding in Australia is climate change-based,” Aniston shared, reading from Crowe’s remarks. “We need to act based on science, move our global workforce to renewable energy and respect our planet for the unique and amazing place it is. That way, we all have a future. Thank you.”
“Absolutely devastated by the fires in Australia. Praying for everyone affected and all of the first responders,” the star tweeted, before adding, “I’m making a donation and would love if you would consider doing the same if you can.” She also linked to an article that shares where you can make donations.
The Australian actor tweeted out his thanks to those who have been fighting the wildfires, writing, “We want to express our deep gratitude to the people in Australia who are fighting these devastating bushfires. Our hearts are with everyone impacted especially those who have lost homes businesses and loved ones This is an immense tragedy for our home country #AustraliaBushfires“
Kim Kardashian West
The star clapped back at a fan on Twitter who claimed that she and her family had not donated to the relief efforts.
“Nothing gets me more heated than to see the Kardashians/Jenners talk about climate change/wildfires & not donate even a penny,” wrote the fan in a since-deleted tweet, tagging Kardashian West along with sisters Kourtney Kardashian, Khloé Kardashian, Kendall Jenner and Kylie Jenner.
Kardashian West stressed that just because they haven’t spoken out about an issue publicly, doesn’t mean they aren’t doing their part.
“Nothing gets me more heated than to see people think they know what we donated to and to think we have to publicize everything,” Kardashian West tweeted.
While the fashion and beauty mogul didn’t reveal the details of a donation, she’s joined the growing list of celebrities who have pledged to help those affected by the wildfires.