Comedian Celeste Barber’s Australian Wildfires Fundraiser Breaks Facebook Record With $32M+ Haul

Australian actress-comedian Celeste Barber’s Facebook fundraiser to support the bushfire relief in Australia is the biggest ever for the social media platform, clocking over $32.5M since she first launched it on Friday, Jan. 3.

All funds will go to The Trustee for NSW Rural Fire Service & Brigades Donations Fund. Donations flowed in from Australians as well as the US, the UK, Belgium, and Portugal.

To date, reports say that around 25 people have died from the fires, including more than a billion animals. Barber is the star of such Australian series as The Letdown and How Not to Behave. 

On Sunday, Russell Crowe, who wound up winning the Golden Globe for Best TV Actor in a Limited Series for Showtime’s The Loudest Voice, was a no-show due to the tragedies occurring in his native Australia.

“Make no mistake, the tragedy unfolding in Australia is climate change based. 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,” Crowe wrote in a statement read by presenter Jennifer Aniston. “That way we have all a future. Thank you.”

The previous biggest fundraiser on Facebook was developed by Charlotte and Dave Willner in the US, who raised money for RAICES (The Refugee and Immigrant Centre for Education and Legal Services) in Texas, accumulating $20.77M in the summer of 2018 from more than 530K people. The fundraiser’s goal was to assist immigrant families who were separated due to President Trump’s family separation policy (which has since ceased).

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