Celeste Barber’s staggering fire fundraiser
People are calling for Celeste Barber to run the country after raising a staggering $30 million in just three days.
The comedian set up a Facebook fundraiser on Friday and by late that afternoon she had received an extraordinary amount of donations from around Australia and overseas.
On Sunday night she shared a new video of her mother-in-law Joy Robin at the Eden Wharf after they were told to evacuate.
"This is our war," Ms Robin said.
"This fire is Australia's war at the moment. It's been right down the Great Dividing Range and now it's going right to the coast. And there isn't one ADF on the ground."
Ms Robin said she was too upset to consider leaving.
"They've (the government) left us high and dry so many times," she said.
"We pay our taxes. We've been abandoned."
Thousands of people have been sharing Barber's page and posting on social media about the incredible response she has received, calling her a national treasure.
"#celestebarber raising over $15 mill for Australian firefighters is a shining light and true example of how celebrities and influencers can and should be using their influence," wrote one woman on Twitter.
"Make this woman PM, such a legend," wrote another on Facebook.
I have no idea who Celeste Barber is, but the fact she has raised over $20 million for the bushfires is super human. What a wonderful wonderful human being. You’ve got a new fan in me. Surely she is Australian of the year #celestebarber— Luke (@Marruso89) January 5, 2020
Barber told Channel 7 she wasn't surprised by the response to her fundraiser when they found her loading supplies for firefighters into her car.
"People are amazing. Power to the people. Someone needed to do something and the people have done something," she said.
Told that many Australians now regarded her as a hero she joked: "Sure! Why not? - carrying boxes of tissues..."
Barber, who has 6.4 million Instagram followers, drew pledges from as far the UK, US, France and Italy.
At times the fundraising page has risen as quickly as $1000 a second.
The amount raised by Barber's fans smashes the $2 million raised by the City of Sydney and ABC on New Year's Eve for the Red Cross.
It comes after local and international celebrities reacted to Australia's bushfire crisis, pledging donations.
Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, Pink and Selena Gomez all said they would donate to the volunteer firefighters.
Absolutely devastated by the fires in Australia. Praying for everyone affected and all of the first responders. I’m making a donation and would love if you would consider doing the same if you can. Swipe up ❤️ https://t.co/aEqW5SPKPG— Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) January 4, 2020
HOW IT STARTED
"Want to join me in supporting a good cause?" Barber originally wrote on her Facebook page.
"I'm raising money for The Trustee for NSW Rural Fire Service & Brigades Donations Fund and your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate a lot or a little.
Barber posted updates on Instagram throughout the day showing her surprise and then growing shock at the magnitude of the donations.
"What do you say?" said a clearly emotional Barber earlier in the week as the donations surged above $6 million.
"Please help anyway you can."
On Saturday Barber shared "terrifying" pictures of her mother-in-law's home in Eden on the south coast of NSW along with a picture of husband Api Robin, concern etched on his face, as he awaited news from his mother.
"They are facing catastrophic conditions. The town has been left to fend for itself."
She then posted that they were being evacuated.
"I feel sick," she wrote.