Australian actor and comedian Celeste Barber created a fundraiser that has raised more than $34 million USD for fire relief efforts from more than 1 million people around the world, making it the largest-ever fundraiser on Facebook. We know how critical funds are in the wake of a crisis, so we worked to expedite payouts, which began today.
Another fundraiser for the NSW Wildlife Information and Rescue Service has raised more than $9 million USD from nearly 300,000 people to support the millions of species endangered by the wildfires, including 30% of the koala population.
People affected by the wildfires are also coming together using Facebook Groups to share information, find important resources and support one another. There are more than 9,000 members in the Bushfire Emergency accommodation in Canberra group connecting people evacuating their homes with those who can provide accommodations. And knitters from around the world are coming together in the Animal Rescue Craft Guild group to create handmade pouches and mittens for injured animals.
To help support and amplify our community’s efforts, Facebook has matched AU$1 million (approximately $685,000 USD) in donations made to GlobalGiving, which is directing funds to local, community-led relief organizations in Australia. We also donated AU$250,000 (approximately $171,000 USD) to the Australian Red Cross to support relief and recovery efforts.
Thank you to everyone who has donated and supported those affected. We’re inspired by the generosity of people on Facebook and the power of these tools to bring people together and make a difference. There is still much work to be done as the crisis is ongoing, and we hope to continue to be part of a holistic solution.