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Wild defenseman Matt Dumba donates $11K to help with Australia’s wildfire relief

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Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba posted this photo of himself with a kangaroo to his Instagram account on Jan. 7, 2020. Photo taken during a trip to Austrailia during 2019. Courtesy photo / Matt Dumba

ST. PAUL — No matter where Matt Dumba goes, for the rest of his life, Australia will always have a special place in his heart.

He spent two and a half weeks there last April, traveling up and down the East Coast of the continent with his best friend, chatting with locals, making the experience their own. And, along the way, forging an unbreakable bond with Australia as a whole.

Looking back on it now, Dumba, a 25-year-old Canadian, credits the one-of-a-kind experience with helping him mentally recover from a torn pectoral muscle that forced him to miss half of last season.

“It was amazing over there,” the Wild defenseman said. “I don’t think I realized how much the injury weighed on me. I went back home and just wasn’t myself. I was able to get away to Australia with my best friend and we just took it all in.”

Which is why Dumba felt compelled to give back, knowing that wildfires have ravaged the Australian state of New South Wales the past few months.

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In true millennial fashion, Dumba took to Instagram on Tuesday night and vowed to donate $100 to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service for every point the Minnesota Timberwolves scored in Tuesday’s game at Memphis.

View this post on Instagram

As you all have seen across the news and Instagram, Australia is currently in a state of emergency with devastating fires sweeping across the lands, affecting habitats, communities, killing millions of animals and taking human lives. It’s hard to understand the dramatic impact this is having sitting safely on the other side of the world, but not to long ago I was on that side of the world. After the season last year I was able to travel to Australia with my one my best friends. We travelled the entire east coast top to bottom over 2 1/2 weeks. After a long hard season dealing with injury I was able to escape and take my mind off all the what if’s. I fell in love with this beautiful country. It breaks my heart seeing the tragedy they are facing. So I want to do my part and personally donate funds to help fight these fires and hopefully motivate you to do whatever you can to help. With Minnesota being my home and the TWolves being my team I’ll be most definitely watching them tonight against the Grizzlies, I’ve decided to donate $100 for every point the T Wolves score directly to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service. Please help me by donating whatever you can to help with this cause and put an end to these fires. Whether that’s $5, $100 or even just sharing this post if you are not in a position to donate right now, every small action helps when we come together. Click the link in my bio to donate directly to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service to help fight the fires and care for the victims of this tragic event.

A post shared by Matt Dumba (@matt.dumba) on

The Timberwolves lost to the Grizzlies 119-112, but the wildfire relief effort gained $11,200. Plus, additional donations from fans have been rolling in across social media over the past 24 hours, thanks to his post.

“I just want to generate a little buzz in the city and get the people of Minnesota thinking about it,” Dumba said. “There’s such great people here in Minnesota, and everyone’s always on board when someone needs a helping hand. I saw that (on Tuesday night) with people reaching out to me saying that they had donated or reposted it. That goes a long way. I know we raised a good chunk of change.”

Asked about his trip to Australia, Dumba lauded the beautiful surroundings, and talked about how surreal it is to see some of that same scenery currently engulfed in flames.

“It was kind of hard for me to go through some of the pictures because I’ve seen on social media some of the exact same pictures that I’d taken of just different landscapes are now ablaze,” he said. “That was hard for me to even picture because when I was there it was it was absolutely gorgeous. I fell in love with it, and to see it all up in flames is so sad. It (stinks) what’s happening right now.”

His decision to donate was also rooted in raising awareness.

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“I’m from Calgary, and I spend a lot of my summer in the mountains into Alberta and British Columbia, so I’ve seen people affected by the fires that can stir up in the summers,” Dumba said. “I know how people are affected by it. Just to see that on such a great scale in Australia with an entire coastline covered in flames is horrible to think about. Just knowing that for my own personal experience, I just wanted to help out. It’s the least I could do.”

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