"It was my dream to move to Australia and living here for the past year has been an incredible adventure filled with kind people, subtle simplicity in the way of life, and the experience of beautiful plant and wildlife unlike anything I had experienced growing up in America.Right now, so much of the magic of this country hangs in the balance with the current state of affairs. My hope is that understanding of the unprecedented challenges here in Australia spreads as quickly as the wildfires are relentlessly spreading across this ancient land, with no sign of stopping. Fires are raging and currently covering acreage at least one quarter of the size of the continental United States. Give that magnitude a moment to sink in.Along with the beautiful forests and bushland being destroyed in the wake of this infernal blaze, millions of animals have lost their lives. Koala bears are functionally extinct at this point. Many people have died, and thousands more have lost their homes and everything they have. I am lucky enough to live in a city where the fires are not burning, but we are still impacted by the smoke in the air, hundreds of miles away from the fires. We have had days in the city where the air quality here in Melbourne is worse than any other city in the entire world. A four hour flight across the Tasman Sea, and New Zealand too is experiencing the smoke. I flew recently from Sydney to Melbourne, and I could see the fires burning from high above, and the strange unnatural clouds billowing up into the atmosphere.It is a heart-breaking scene, but it is also incredible to see in times of great struggle the great courage and spirit that rises from the ashes. Firefighters missed Christmas with their families to be at the front lines. It also gives hope to all of us in Australia to see the amazing generosity of those who have donated to bring aid to those in need. Every little bit helps."