Why Celeste Barber Is Fundraising Millions For Firefighters
Celeste Barber has shown the unwavering strength of people power in the face of immense tragedy, raising a staggering $33 million for fire-ravaged communities and firefighters on the frontlines in just a matter of days.
Donations have come in from across Australia and around the globe, gaining traction as celebrities jump on board, sharing their own messages of support and making their own donations.
By Monday - just under 72 hours after the campaign was launched - more than $8,000 was being donated to the campaign every minute.
While Barber's funds will go directly to the NSW Rural Fire Brigade and help communities across the country, the comedian also has a very personal reason for the fundraiser.
Her mother in law, Joy Robin, is one of the thousands of Australians living in fire-ravaged towns.
Robin has spent days preparing to defend her property in Eden on the NSW South Coast and trying to decide whether to evacuate or stay and keep fighting.
In powerful videos Barber shared on Twitter, Robin can be heard telling a reporter about how the community had been abandoned by the government to battle the blazes.
"There's none here," she said of the Australian Defence Personel that had been promised to help communities.
"That's what we want. We pay $6 billion dollars of hard-earned taxpayers money for them every year. Where are they," she said.
"We are down here. This is our war. This fire is Australia's war at the moment."
Asked whether she was feeling abandoned by the government, Robin said the community had been left "high and dry, so many times."
"We've been abandoned. I'm not 'feeling' it. I've been abandoned."
The vision shows the sky around the wharf shrouded in orange from the smoke.
Barber said her mother-in-law was amazing and that she was proud of her
"Scott Morrison, I wouldn't try and shake her hand," the comedian said.
Earlier, Barber shared terrifying photos from her in-law's home, showing the bright orange sky.
"It’s terrifying. They are scared. They need your help."
Barber has so far raised more than $33 million and is posting regular updates to Facebook with each new milestone hit.
A number of other celebrities have also promised to donate to fire-affected communities, including Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, P!nk and sporting stars including Nick Kyrgios.
Featured Image: Getty/Twitter