From Kylie Jenner to Chris Hemsworth, these celebrities have donated millions to Australian bush fire relief efforts
Hollywood continues to support Australia amid the devastating bush fires there.
Celebrities from Kylie Jenner to Australia’s own Chris Hemsworth have been making gigantic donations to relief efforts. It’s needed as the death toll has climbed to 26 people and an estimated 1 billion animals with over 20 million acres burned across the country.
While it’s important to note that not every celebrity has publicized their donation — the Australian Red Cross, New South Wales and Victoria fire authorities and Australia Zoo’s Wildlife Warriors are among the popular recipients providing relief amid the ecological disaster — here are the stars we know for sure have pledged to give. And it’s also important to note, that if the celebrity didn’t specify if their donation was in U.S. or AUS dollars, we presumed it was the dollar used where they primarily reside.
James Packer, $3.4 million
The Australian billionaire businessman and Hollywood producer pledged $5 million AUS, which is about $3.4 million in U.S. dollars. The donation from Mariah Carey’s ex will go to fire and wildlife services in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia. "Australians are digging deep to support each other in these tough times, it's truly inspiring," he said.
Kylie Jenner, $1 million
After facing scrutiny for some of her social media posts timed around the Australia fires, the L.A.-based billionaire makeup mogul pledged $1 million to various relief efforts Down Under. “Kylie stands behind her desire to want to help provide relief towards the devastation the fires have caused,” an insider told People magazine. And it’s thought that the family as a whole has given even more as Kim Kardashian told a fan who accused them of not donating that she doesn’t publicize all the money she gives to charity.
Elton John, $1 million
During a stop in Sydney Tuesday on his farewell tour, the “Rocket Man” singer said he would be giving $1 million, presumably U.S dollars because he’s based in the U.S. and U.K. “We should all be in the awe of the work the firefighters are doing,” he said to the crowd. “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. Therefore, tonight, I will be pledging $1 million dollars to support the bushfire relief fund.” Sydney has seen historically high temperatures in recent weeks.
Seeing the fires raging across Australia have left me heartbroken. This tragedy has taken lives, homes and devastated so much wildlife. At my Sydney show last night, I pledged $1 million dollars to support the Bushfire Relief Fund.
God bless, Australia. 🇦🇺❤️
Elton xx pic.twitter.com/8umFtjikSa
— Elton John (@eltonofficial) January 7, 2020
Chris Hemsworth and family, approximately $687,000
The face of Australia Tourism (literally), the Thor star, who resides in the beach town of Byron Bay in New South Wales, a state hit very hard by the fires, announced he and his family, including wife Elsa Pataky and brother Liam Hemsworth, were giving $1 million — presumably that’s AUS, making it around $687,000 U.S. He shared recommendations for charities in which his followers could give to as well. “Dig deep,” the star asked followers, noting that the country was still in “the thick of it here.”
The rock band with its All Within My Hands Foundation pledged $750,000 (AUS) — which is approximately $515,000 (U.S.) to the NSW Rural Fire Service and to the Country Fire Authority in Victoria.
Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, $500,000
The couple, who both grew up in Australia and maintain residences there despite living primary in the U.S., donated half a million dollars to the rural fire services.
The American singer was so “devastated” that she donated $500,000 to the local fire services “on the front line.”
Kylie Minogue, about $343,000
The Australian singer announced that “as a family,” the Minogues are donating $500,000 AUS, which is approximately $343,799 U.S. — “towards the immediate firefighting efforts and the ongoing support which will be required.”
Russell Crowe, $72,000
The actor, who skipped the Golden Globes to remain in his native Australia and protect his home (which was hurt by fires in November), dropped off checks totaling about $72,000 ($105,000 AUD) to NSW Rural Fire Service's Captain John Lardner.
Celeste Barber, $32.3 million
The Australian comedian set up a fundraiser via Facebook and it’s been the biggest one to date on that social media platform. The more than $32 million is going to The Trustee for NSW Rural Fire Service & Brigades Donations Fund.
Ellen DeGeneres, $700,000
The American daytime talk show host — and animal lover — set up a GoFundMe for fighter fighters and other helpers that has been quickly growing thanks to huge donations from companies she is aligned with, including United Airlines and Shutterfly. Her goal is $5 million.
Rebel Wilson, $68,000
The Australian actress partnered with Magic Millions Polo for an event that raised money for the bushfire relief effort. For her part, she auctioned off two lunches with herself that went for a total of $100,000 AUS, which is $68,000 U.S.
Again, there are countless additional celebrities — including Australians Margot Robbie, Naomi Watts and Hugh Jackman — sharing the list of non-profits involved in the rescue efforts and urging their followers to open their pockets. And some — like Bethenny Frankel via her BStrong charity — are organizing their own rescue efforts. However, they haven’t specified exactly how much they have given or raised, so that’s why they aren’t on the list.
And many have been working extremely hard in other ways. For instance, the family of the late Steve Irwin — Bindi, Robert and Terri — have treated more than 90,000 animals impacted by the fires at their Australia Zoo hospital in Queensland, an area that hasn’t been effected by the fires in the same way as the other areas. And donations have been pouring into their Wildlife Warriors non-profit, but they haven’t released figures on how much they’ve raised at this point.
Additionally, Fleabag actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge vowed to auction her Golden Globes outfit to raise funds for Australian bush fire relief — and that is coming soon. Meanwhile, at least two models have raised more than $500,000 by selling NSFW photos of themselves.
Again, every little bit helps.
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