Toronto businesses donating proceeds to help with Australia fires
As wildfires continue to eradicate Australian ecosystems and communities at a devastating rate, Canadians are stepping up to help in any way they can.
While groups of Canadian firefighters are on the ground overseas helping to combat the blazes, a number of Toronto businesses are running promotions to raise money to donate to Australian firefighting and wildlife protection efforts.
Cops Doughtnuts, which is owned by the same team behind Bloordale Australian-style cafe Baddies, said in a social media post that they will be donating all of today's coffee sales from both of their locations to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, one of the main volunteer firefighting brigades on the frontlines in Australia.
Local tattoo artists are also joining in to raise funds: Tammy Kim of Trinity-Bellwoods's Minhwa Tattoo Co. is hosting a flash tattoo event on January 19, with all proceeds going to Australian fire services.
Kim and fellow Toronto tattooers Joey Ramona and Alex Snelgrove are also among a group of artists auctioning off paintings and prints for the cause until January 18.
And Hamilton tattoo shop High Five Tattoo is also holding a flash day on January 22, with 100 per cent of proceeds being donated to WIRES, Australia's largest wildlife rescue organization.
When I recently went home, I was faced with the reality of the severity of the fires that are currently burning through Australia. Many will say that this is a common occurrence in Australia. You’re not wrong - it is, unfortunately. Nonetheless, the devastating fires happening currently is not our norm. I don’t think people are aware of how catastrophic the fires actually are currently in Australia. When I was there, ash fell from the sky like snow and the effect of the smoke on our lungs was equivalent to smoking 34 cigarettes a day. Please take into comparison - the recent Amazonian fires lost 2.24million acres of land... currently almost 12 million acres of Australia is now burnt. Which is larger than the land mass of The Netherlands and around 3x the size of a Lake Ontario. Lives lost, 500 million animals dead, homes gone. As a result I would like to raise awareness as well as a flash day on the 19th of January - where 100% of the proceeds will go directly to the NSW Rural Fire Department ( @nswrfs ). THE REAL HEROES. Please - if you can not attend, donate what you can directly to them. It’s not slowing down and Australia is heading into to the hottest months of the summer. It’s going to get worse... they need all the help they can get.
Celebrities ranging from Selena Gomez, to Pink, to Nicole Kidman have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars each to help quell the bushfires, while others like Lizzo have spread awareness of the crisis and called their fans into action.
Australian Instagram comedian Celeste Barber has crowdfunded more than $30-million AUD for the cause, while everyday people around the world have found their own unique ways to raise staggering amounts for various relevant Australian charities.
A group of Canadian crafters has even banded together to hand-sew pouches and mittens for injured kangaroos and koalas rescued from the infernos.
I am totally devastated watching what is happening in Australia right now with the horrific bushfires. 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 ❤️ pic.twitter.com/kyjDbhoXpp— P!nk (@Pink) January 4, 2020
Though wildfires are a relatively normal natural occurrence in Australia, the extent of these recent fires has been unprecedented and disastrous due to global warming, which has led to the country's hottest summer on record.
Approximately half a billion animals and counting have been killed in the blazes, along with with 25 people, with more missing. Five million hectares of land — an area larger than Belgium — have been decimated, adding up to about 10 times more damage than last year's fires.
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