A Gift From Kate & Wills
New Idea|February 22, 2021
When bushfires hit, aussies dana and sam had support in high places

As bushfires tore through Australia in 2020, hearts broke and wallets opened around the world as money flooded in to support injured wildlife.

But for Dana Mitchell and husband, Sam, of the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park, they were able to raise $2.7 million thanks to the support of the royal family and star-studded benefactors.

Their fundraiser became Australia’s most popular and supported GoFundMe of 2020. And the couple then went on to create a charity with the funds, so they could continue their work.

“It was an overwhelming feeling that so many people cared,” Dana tells New Idea.

The mum says on the day the bushfires broke out, it had begun like any other.

“Sam was busy with building and maintenance work, while I was tending to the animals – caring and feeding them as usual.”

But by the evening, officials warned that the fire could come through at any time. Dana, 30, and her 1-year-old son, Connor, fled, while Sam stayed behind.

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