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How to use Big Tech to donate to Australian wildfire relief

Daniel Howley
Technology Editor

The devastating Australian wildfires continue to burn across the country, killing at least 27 people, wiping out more than a billion animals, and consuming millions of acres of land. The destruction has led to an outpouring of support from both Australia and the U.S., and charitable organizations seeking to help.

Now major tech companies are getting in on the relief efforts, with the likes of Apple, Google, and Activision/ Blizzard providing their fans with a means to donate to help raise money to support those impacted by the fires.

Here's how you can take advantage of tech's donation efforts.

A firefighter keeps an eye on a controlled fire as they work at building a containment line at a wildfire near Bodalla, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020. Authorities are using relatively benign conditions forecast in southeast Australia for a week or more to consolidate containment lines around scores of fires that are likely to burn for weeks without heavy rainfall. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

Apple

Apple is giving consumers the ability to donate to the Red Cross to help those impacted the Australian wildfires. (Image: Apple)

Apple (AAPL) is providing users with a quick way to donate to the American Red Cross through its homepage and the iTunes store. Tapping on the link will give you the option to donate your choice of $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, or $250 — 100% of which goes to the Red Cross.

Google

Google (GOOG, GOOGL) is also giving consumers a fast means to get their donations to the right place. Simply typing "Australia fire donation" into the Google search bar will generate a donate button to provide aid for the New South Wales bushfires.

Google's donations are part of a partnership with the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, which focuses on medium- to long-term disaster recovery.

Activision-Blizzard

The video game giant is turning its wildly popular "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare" into an avenue for gamers to donate to fire relief. The title's "Outback Pack" downloadable content (DLC) pack, which features a character outfitted with gear inspired by the Australian outback, has been renamed the "Outback Relief Pack."

Activision-Blizzard is giving 100% of the proceeds from sales of its Outback Relief Pack in the game 'Call of Duty' to fire fighting efforts. (Image: Activision Blizzard)

According to Activision Blizzard (ATVI), all of the proceeds from the sale of the DLC will go to the fire recovery until Jan. 31. What's more, the company says all previous purchases made of the pack ahead of the announcement will also go toward fire relief.

Facebook

Despite its many controversies, Facebook's (FB) massive user audience gives it the ability to marshal enormous donations. The social network has a Donation tab on its left rail on the desktop, or in the Menu page on mobile, that gives you the option of choosing between a number of different charitable organizations and groups for the cause of your choosing.

Facebook's current top-trending fundraiser is by comedian Celeste Barber, who is raising money for The Trustee for NSW Rural Fire Service & Brigades Donations Fund. So far, the campaign has raised more than $34 million.

Microsoft

Microsoft (MSFT) is also taking donations for the American Red Cross via Microsoft.com. The company promises to match donations of $5 or more, up to $50,000. The program runs through Jan. 31 and is accessible either via standalone donations, or during the checkout process when purchasing items through Microsoft's online store.

Of course, it's important to ensure that you're familiar with the company or cause you're donating to, and that you're aware of where your funds will eventually end up. Tech companies are largely sticking to well known organizations, but if you'd like to donate on your own be sure to research the firm you're trusting with your cash.

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Got a tip? Email Daniel Howley at danielphowley@protonmail.com or dhowley@yahoofinance.com, and follow him on Twitter at @DanielHowley.

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