In the summer of 2019/2020, Australia was ravaged by its worst bushfire season on record. 1 billion of the country’s unique wildlife were killed.
To connect New Yorkers to this heartbreaking tragedy, Koalas of NYC was born. An initiative designed to evoke compassion and empathy through the simple symbol of a koala, sparked action and went viral in less than a month. In January 2020, plush koalas were placed in prominent locations all over New York City. Attached to each koala was a QR code directing folks to donate to Australia’s largest wildlife rescue and rehabilitation charity, WIRES.
Koalas of NYC took the world by storm. The campaign was championed by people all over, bringing the initiative to London, LA, Las Vegas, and beyond. Overwhelming global demand prompted the toy supplier to donate proceeds from koala purchases to the cause, driving a record number of plush sales, all while captivating a social audience and garnering worldwide media attention. With over 140 cities participating, a donation target exceeded by over 400%, and over 1.9 billion people reached, Koalas of NYC became a universal symbol of compassion to save the world's most unique animals.