Local woman raises money for Australia wildfire relief

Local woman raises money for Australia wildfire relief-1/13/2020

LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) -On the other side of the world, Australia is up in flames. The bushfires have scorched nearly 18 million acres of land, causing thousands to evacuate and killing millions of animals.

Fundraising efforts by celebrities and foundations around the world have been working to aid in the recovery efforts.

And now a Lawton woman is doing what she can to help by designing a t-shirt to raise money.

100 percent of the proceeds made from these Australia wildfire shirts, will go to the Koala Hospital in Australia.

“They’re doing a lot of good things to try to make sure that when all the fires are put out, the koala population can be successfully re inhabited,” said Nicole Curtsinger, owner of Blue Line Design.

Curtsinger owns and operates Blue Line Design. She says while she has a heart for the wildlife in Australia, she has a huge amount of family that lives in Sydney, that she met for the first time last year.

“It is their home,” said Curtsinger. “And seeing all of the wildlife specifically. Seeing all of that is heartbreaking. And so I really wanted to be able to do something. And I was lucky enough to have an avenue of design that I felt like I could be able to contribute.”

The bushfires have hit every Australian state and while the more populous parts of the continent, like Sydney are not as affected by flames, they are dealing with choking smoke and pollution in the air.

“A lot of people with Asthma, they’re having a lot of trouble,” said Angela Reilly, Nicole’s cousin who lives in Sydney. "The elderly as well. Young people like my children’s sporting activities, if they’re outdoors, they’ve had to be canceled because of poor air quality. It’s affecting everyone really. "

Nicole’s cousin, Angela Reilly lives in Sydney. She say’s while her family is not in a bushfire affected area, it’s been a frightening time for everyone still.

“It’s all over our news,” said Reilly. “We have friends and family who are affected and as you can see in our day to day lives there’s so much smoke in the air some days. It’s awful.”

Reilly says it’s really heartwarming to know that her family in Oklahoma wants to raise money for her country.

“With Nicole raising funds for us, and the global attention that’s it’s getting, and you see a few celebrities coming out now and donating,” said Reilly. “It’s just nice to know that the rest of the world is with us and behind us.”

The t-shirts have a picture of a firefighter hugging a kangaroo and koala. Nicole says she’s sold almost 50 shirts since last Friday. Her goal is to sell as many as possible.

“I know it feels like my portion may only be a drop in the bucket, but if everyone contributed a drop in the bucket, we could get somewhere,” said Curtsinger. “I just felt like it was my duty, especially with having connections over there and family over there, that it was something that I want to do.”

To order a shirt, you can find Blue Line Design on Facebook.

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