NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As the bushfires in Australia continue to burn, many throughout the world are trying to help.
Here in New York, a campaign called Koalas of NYC is raising money and awareness for some of the most helpless victims.
Everyone has seen the heartbreaking videos of animals suffering from the fires, especially koalas.
Well now, toy koalas have been popping up throughout New York City with pictures and videos flooding social media.
The campaign is called Koalas of NYC. Employees of ad agency Cummins&Partners NYC came up with the idea. Half their team is from Australia, and they’ve been hanging up the koalas all over the place.
Diane Villavieja grew up in Sydney.
“The fires have just been devastating for everyone and it’s like losing a part of us, really, so we’re doing the best we can to help them,” she told CBS2’s Cindy Hsu.
Hanging off the koalas are tags that let people know about 1 billion animals have died in the bushfires and how to donate to WIRES, the largest wildlife relief charity in Australia.
“It has been overwhelming, the outpouring of support that we’ve gotten from these little guys just hanging on poles throughout New York City,” said Samantha Arena with Koalas of NYC.
The GoFundMe campaign started a couple weeks ago and has been so successful, it’s now spread to London as well. The koalas are so eye-catching, native Australian Amanda Leung couldn’t walk by without getting a picture.
“It’s been very heartbreaking, so it’s so nice that people in New York, there’s communities and pockets all around the world that are really supporting Australia. It’s amazing,” she said.
So far, more than 100 koalas have popped up throughout New York City. Some end up going missing, but the organizers say they’ll keep putting them up and hope people will keep sharing.
For more information or to donate, visit KoalasOfNYC.com.