Australia Wildfires: This Is How Celebrities Are Helping
Leonardo DiCaprio's Earth Alliance environmental organization will donate $3 million to help wildfire relief efforts in Australia.
The foundation said Thursday that it has started the Australia Wildfire Fund to help with an “international response to the catastrophic bushfires” currently raging in the country.
The wildfires have scorched an area twice the size of the U.S. state of Maryland, killed at least 25 people and destroyed 2,000 homes. The fires, fueled by drought and the country’s hottest and driest year on record, have been raging since September, months earlier than is typical for Australia’s annual wildfire season.
The Academy Award-winning actor serves as Earth Alliance's co-chair along with philanthropists Laurene Powell Jobs and Brian Sheth. The organization was launched last year to combat climate change and biodiversity loss.
The fund will work with local Australian partner organizations including Aussie Ark, Bush Heritage, and Wires Wildlife Rescue.
DiCaprio joins a growing list of other celebrities that have rallied to donate big bucks. Australian actor Chris Hemsworth and Elton John who each offered $1 million through social media earlier this week.
Nicole Kidman, Pink, and Keith Urban have donated as well.
Elton John and Chris Hemsworth are among the celebrities donating big bucks for relief efforts as wildfires engulf Australia.
Hemsworth, the Australian actor who plays Thor in the Marvel movie franchise, took to social media Monday to share that he will donate $1 million and asked his millions of followers to show support as well. He said that “every penny counts.”
So far, the wildfires have scorched an area twice the size of the U.S. state of Maryland. The blazes have killed 25 people and destroyed 2,000 homes. The fires, fueled by drought and the country’s hottest and driest year on record, have been raging since September, months earlier than is typical for Australia’s annual wildfire season.
John announced during his Farewell Yellow Brick Road concert in Sydney, Australia, that he will also donate $1 million. The singer said he wanted to bring attention to the devastation that wildfires have caused, saying it has reached a “biblical scale.”
Hemsworth and John join a growing list of celebrities who have pledged to donate toward relief efforts, including Nicole Kidman, Pink, and Keith Urban.
"I am totally devastated watching what is happening in Australia right now with the horrific bushfires," Pink wrote in a recent social media post. “I am pledging a donation of $500,000 directly to the local fire services that are battling so hard on the frontlines. My heart goes out to our friends and family in Oz.”
Metallica announced a donation on Tuesday night of $750,000 to a firefighting agency and emergency services agency in Victoria.