'Power to the people': Celeste Barber's bushfire fundraiser hits $50 million

Celeste Barber, the Australian comic with a strong social media following, has raised more than $50 million to help communities affected by bushfires.

Barber set out to raise $20,000 on her public Facebook page on January 3, appealing to her followers across her social platforms to donate with the money going to The Trustee for NSW Rural Fire Service & Brigades Donations Fund.

As of 1pm (AEST), the fundraiser was at $50,177,717, surpassing her most recent goal of $50 million.

Celeste Barber (left) says she is 'overwhelmed' after her bushfire fundraiser hit $50 million. Right is an Instagram story message from her account showing her with her head in her hand.
Celeste Barber's fundraiser has hit more than $50 million. Pictured is a still from her Instagram story after the milestone. Source: Getty Images/Instagram

Within 24 hours, the fundraiser hit $7 million and by January 5, more than 845,000 donors had raised more than $33 million.

More than 1.2 million people have donated to the fundraiser on Facebook, with comments on the social media page indicating people were donating to the cause from all over the world.

“Power to the people,” Barber wrote through a series of Instagram stories, sharing a screenshot of the fundraiser.

“I woke this morning slightly bleary eyed to see that the 50 million had been achieved,” one woman wrote on the Facebook page.

“So proud of Australians, so proud of our overseas friends.”

When she launched the fundraiser, Barber also shared a series of photos to her Instagram of her mother-in-law’s home in Eden on the NSW south coast.

“It’s terrifying. They are scared. They need your help. International donations can be made via the link in my bio,” the comedian wrote at the time.

In a video, also shared to Instagram, Ms Barber’s mother-in-law Joy Robin declared the bushfires as “Australia’s war”.

“I'm fine, I've got a car, I've got somewhere to be safe but look at all these... all these people haven't,” Ms Robin said.

Following Barber’s fundraiser kicking off and her Instagram posts, a long list of celebrities donated to bushfire relief.

US singer Pink donated $500,000 “directly to the local fire services”.

“My heart goes out to our friends and family in Oz,” she wrote on social media.

Nicole Kidman and husband Keith Urban donated $500,000 and like Pink shared information about the different fire services people could donate to.

The Kardashians shared a series of Instagram stories providing people with information about how and where their fans could make a donation.

Actor Chris Hemsworth and his family are chipping in $1 million after telling his near 39 million Instagram followers on Tuesday to "dig deep"and give what they can.

Earlier in the week, Barber joined Hemsworth and brother Liam onstage in Byron Bay for the Make It Rain - Fund The Fires fundraiser.

Cricket champ Shane Warne is auctioning his baggy green cap worn during his Test career, while Collingwood AFL player Dayne Beams is selling his 2010 premiership medallion.

Artists are organising charity events to raise more funds, with ARIA-winning singer Tones and I announcing plans for a Melbourne concert on January 28 to benefit the RFS, Victoria's Country Fire Association and Red Cross.

With AAP

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