The unusual way Russell Crowe raised $200k for the fires in just hours

Penny Burfitt
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
Russell Crowe has pledged $100,00 to the NSW fire services. Photo: Getty Images

Russell Crowe is putting his money where his mouth is when it comes to the NSW bushfires, pledging $200k in donations to firies across the state this morning - all with a dirty old hat.

The actor, whose own property was impacted in the devastating blazes sweeping the state this month, has provided fans and the public with regular updates and is now getting serious about raising funds to aid the effort.

The actor raised $200,000 altogether by auctioning a dirty cap from his South Sydney Rugby league club the Rabbitohs on Twitter and promising to match the price.

The hat ended up fetching a cool $100k, with Russell doubling the donation amount, meaning the Royal Fire Service is now looking at $200k raised in a matter of hours.

This morning he published a list of services that would receive donations between $5000 and $10,000 from him personally.

“Today I’ll be donating $5k AUD to each of the (NSW Fire) brigades on this list,” he wrote in a tweet, later clarifying the Nana Glen brigades would receive double.

Winner with a heart of gold

Aussie billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes won the bid, promising $100,000 with a very sweet condition.

“Sign it “Today is the day” and add your name... then find a kid affected by the bushfires & make his day by giving him the hat...” the co-owner of software company Atlassian requested of the actor.

“Then I’ll bid $100k AUD mate. (Thanks) for doing this.”

The heartwarming exchange resulted in $200,000 for the regional fire services, who thanked the actor in a heartfelt response online.

The latest update from the NSW Rural Fire Service says over 163 fires are still burning in NSW, and 75 not contained as over 2000 staff and volunteers battle on the ground.

The actor’s contribution comes on the back of regular updates he has shared online of the fire in and around his NSW property, just one of the thousands impacted by the fires that are still tearing through the state.

In a video shared on Monday afternoon, the actor attempted to access his expansive property in Nana Glen near Coffs Harbour, unable to surmount one road blocked by fallen trees.

At the time he described the landscape as, ‘absolutely f**king smashed’.

Initial controversy

Russell Crowe's updates initially sparked anger from at least one neighbour. Photo: Twitter/russellcrowe

Initially, the actor’s updates attracted criticism from onlookers.

One neighbour even claimed the star’s residence got preferential treatment by the fire services, but that suggestion was slammed by NSW Fire Service as ‘impossible’.

Russell’s family also came to his defence over the claims, saying they were ‘absolute bullsh*t’ on social media.

The actor dispelled any rumours when he later shared side by side images of destroyed parts of the property, to the horror of fans.

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