Patti Smith, in Australia for Bluesfest Byron Bay, donated A$10,000 ($7,591) to Rise Above The Flood, a local grassroots charity collecting for victims of recent floods.

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Photo: Walter Bieri / Keystone via AP

Patti Smith - Volkhaus, Zurich, Switzerland

The Northern New South Wales (NSW) area was lashed by Cyclone Debbie, which turned streets into rivers and disaster zones declared as 50,000 fled their homes in the worst flooding since 1954.

Smith noticed charity volunteers onsite during her two performances – an April 13 performance with her band of her debut album Horses and an acoustic solo set the next day.

Both received standing ovations.

Smith did not comment on her donation but it was confirmed by Bluesfest director Peter Noble, who allowed Rise Above The Flood volunteers to collect onsite.

He said in a statement, “Patti’s performances at Bluesfest are among the greatest ever and we can now see what a wonderful human being she is as well. People including our staff have lost their possession, property and friends so we find her generosity extremely touching.”

Noble added, “There has been perhaps one billion dollars in damages to homes and property with many people unable to pay expensive insurance premiums. Saddest of all is that people have lost their lives. It’s not hard to give a little, it will mean a lot.”

Proceeds from Rise Above The Flood went to four specific grassroots charities that directly worked with local communities and by-passed national charity drives with expensive administration drives.