With the longest bushfire season in Australia's history still ongoing, the internet has rallied around Australia to support our volunteer firefighters in ways the government seemingly could not. Naturally, gamers have gotten behind the cause, and over the last week various streamers and influencers have banded together to raise more than $350,000 for volunteer organisations, shelters and wildlife rescue groups.
The funds are going to different places: some streamers are raising directly for the RFS, CFA and other volunteer firefighters, while others have put money towards not-for-profits like WWF Australia or other shelters for affected people and wildlife.
The biggest individual total so far came from Kathleen "Loserfruit" Belsten, who alongside Nathan "Crayator" Ryan and Fasffy, with the trio raising just over $318,000 for the NSW, Victorian, South Australian and Queensland fire associations, as well as The Red Cross and Wires. The stream originally set out to raise $15,000, a milestone that was surpassed in the first hour. One streamer contributed just over $21,000 by themselves, but many other gamers and fans donated $1,000 or more in a single hit.
"It’s absolutely amazing seeing a global online gaming community come together to support an important cause," LoserFruit said.
Thank you everyone for the support. Such a huge impact made and I'm so grateful for everyone's contribution to the cause????
HERE ARE THE TOP 100 DONATORS!
— Loserfruit (@Loserfruit) January 7, 2020
The trio's efforts were the largest amount raised by local streamers, but the Australian Twitch community has begun a massive outreach from communities large and small. One of the bigger individual efforts came from Mitch Robinson, a player for the Brisbane Lions AFL club and a streamer in his own right, raised just over $15,000 for the Rural Fire Association.
WE DID IT! My bro @triplezerotv & I raised $15,000+ during our 24HR charity stream.
I didn't think a gaming platform would exceed our $5k goal to help the RFS & those affected by the fires!
— Mitch Robinson (@MitchRobinson05) January 5, 2020
Freak And Geek, two Australian streamers from Melbourne focusing on Mario Maker, raised over $2500 towards koala conservation. AngelMelly, a content creator for Chiefs Esports, raised just over $1,000 for the Red Cross with her own charity stream.
International stars have gotten involved as well. One of the larger contributions came from André "iddqd" Dahlström, a professional Overwatch player, who raised over $12,000 for WWF Australia this morning.
— Melly (@AngelMelly) January 5, 2020
Gamer Aid are launching another fundraising effort through GoFundMe, with just over $7,700 raised at the time of writing. Jamie O'Doherty, a sponsored FIFA player for FUTWIZ and a partnered streamer, turned his following towards GoFundMe as well, raising just over $9,100 for the Victorian Bushfire Disaster Appeal.
After both of the Bushfire Appeal Fundraising Streams, we have raised over $8,820 to support all communities affected by the bushfires across Australia.
Can't thank everyone enough for the generous donations & support over this weekend, we've all made a difference together ❤️ pic.twitter.com/4uYOL4HVnJ
— FUTWIZ Jamie (@JamieODoherty) January 5, 2020
The donations will soar even higher in the coming days, with more prominent Australian streamers holding streams later today and throughout the week. GenerOZity, an Australian not-for-profit gaming group that regularly raises funds for charity, has raised just over $8400 already for the CFA and RFS, even though their charity drive doesn't begin until January 17. (Any streamers who want to contribute to a part of the marathon stream can apply via this form.)