THOTs and prayers – and other ways to help the fireys and victims

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There are many ways to raise money for the victims of natural disasters, from charity concerts to social media donation drives, but some enterprising young women in Australia and the United States are finding new and innovative ways of reaching and influencing the demographics, which arguably would not have otherwise opened their hearts and their pockets. Kudos to them.

The most famous at the moment is America’s Kaylen Ward, also known as The Naked Philanthropist (and now you’re thanking God that Bill and Melinda Gates don’t go by such a moniker).

Ward has been in the “business” for about half a year before she felt compelled to turn her job into a fund-raiser, as “The Guardian” reports:

Although she has not tallied the exact total yet, Ward believes her donation drive could exceed $700,000. “I have a girl that’s doing the analysis on it and she’s calculated that I’m getting about 10 legitimate verified DMs per minute,” she says. “And that’s only saying everybody donated at least $10, that’s not even calculating the average amount, because I’ve had donations of $5,000 … I feel that the number is way beyond that.”

The cause is a personal one for Ward, who was affected by the Carr and Camp fires in northern California in 2018. “I got to see first hand how fires like that can affect people and how devastating they are,” she says. So far, Australia’s bushfires have burned through more than 8.4m hectares. “To put [the California fires] up to scale with what’s happening in Australia right now, it’s not even comparable.”

Instagram has now shut down Ward’s 60,000-follower account – thank you, Instagram, for hating Australia – but she has already managed to inspire others:

Katie Day, a Vancouver-based sex worker, says she saw the Naked Philanthropist’s tweet and “thought it was a really great way to encourage people to donate”. She tweeted on 6 January that she was joining Ward’s efforts. She hoped to raise a couple of hundred dollars, and has already surpassed that goal, raising more than $1,000 in 24 hours, mostly from “people I’ve never heard of before”.

And there are Australians now joining in:

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As you know, I normally black out faces, identifying details and contact info, but as Shannon is doing this for the best cause going around now, it would be pointless to note without publicising. Thank you Kaylen, Katie, Shannon and others for using you assets for good.

And thank you to all those who have donated and/or been raising money in more traditional ways. The News.com.au story here provides a pretty comprehensive list of ways you can help the firefighters as well as the people and the communities affected.

P.S. If you send me a copy of your donation receipt of more than $10, I promise not to send you my nude photo. Remember, I do have a lot of your email addresses and phone numbers.

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