Rising From The Ashes
When the Australian Bushfires began in late July 2019, the world looked on in horror as the beautiful Australian landscape was reduced to soot. Images of houses deteriorating, animals seeking shelter, food, and water flooded our screens, and countries all over the world shared in sadness with Australia.
As with most devastating situations, there are always people willing to help. Together, major companies, celebrities, and people alike did their part to donate and aid in relief. We've highlighted just a few of the ways companies and individuals showed up for a country in need.
Miami Heat Owner Micky Arison:
Micky Arison and his wife Madeline donated over $1 million to disaster relief in Australia. Because Micky is also the Carnival Cruise Lines Corporate Chairman, he worked in conjunction with the Carnival Foundation to donate an additional $250,000. The president of Carnival Australia, Sture Myrmell, is quoted saying, "This gesture is a sign of our solidarity with the local community." "As a cruise shipping organization with close ties to Australian communities developed over many years, we have been shocked by the devastation from this ongoing disaster."
David Yarrow - The #KoalaComback Campaign
The #KoalaComback Campaign was created by David Yarrow, an Australian photographer who is, most recently, known for his eye-catching and raw photos of the devastation the Australian bushfires have left behind. David's goal is to help raise $2 million for WildArk and Global Wildlife Conservation to support the comeback of wildlife that has been devastating to entire species of animals. "The day in Australia when I saw 500 dead animals for every live one will remain with me forever," Yarrow said. David has teamed up with some of the world's biggest celebrity names, including Leonardo Dicaprio, Cindy Crawford, and Tom Brady. Donators can receive one of David's digital images just by making a small donation.
Ellen has a vast reach and resonates with her audience. When it comes time to give back, no one is better at it than she is. Ellen made it easy for folks to donate to a trusted source when she created a GoFundMe to aid in wildfire relief. With a goal of $5 million, she has already helped raise $1.75 million in just three short weeks. She kicked off the campaign with Shutterfly, who donated a hefty $100,000.
Some companies have chosen to donate a percentage of their product sales to Australian relief, and in some situations, companies are giving merchandise for those battling the front lines.
Blundstone is an Australian footwear brand that is known for its high-quality ankle boots. It is a brand that can be seen worn and sold in counties around the world. Blundstone's warehouse and manufacturing facilities, along with its headquarters, are in Australian cities, making this disaster very close to their company's heart. Blundstone has donated nearly $70,000 worth of boots for volunteer firefighters battling the horrific blaze.
Along with that, they have also given financial aid to those who lost their homes by the bushfires. On January 26th, they also donated $50 to the Salvation Army for every pair of Blundstone boots sold. This is just another example of a company stepping up and helping out in a significant way.
Eighteen million acres have burned to ashes. Whenever something devastating occurs, whether it is in our backyard or a world away, it's always encouraging to know a sense of community exists, and people will always be willing to help, which makes for a high starting point to rebuild and recover.