Volunteers rally to support Wollondilly's and Wingecaribee's fire-affected communities

Kerry O'Grady said locals were grateful for the support at the Community Recovery Centre. Picture: Chris Lane
Kerry O'Grady said locals were grateful for the support at the Community Recovery Centre. Picture: Chris Lane

Donations have been flooding in to help the region's most fire-damaged towns and villages and a group of dedicated volunteers are working to ensure they reach people most in need.

A Community Recovery Centre has been set up to co-ordinate donations which will support residents in Bargo, Buxton and Balmoral.

Picton Country Women's Association (CWA) president Kerry O'Grady said the centre provided locals with a place to access quality food and household items.

"This all started with RFS volunteer Kim Hill," she said.

"Her captain asked her to have a look at ways to co-ordinate the donations coming in from across the community and I realised that there was no way she could look after this all by herself.

"I had experience working with the Department of Primary Industries in disaster relief and response so I decided to jump in and help her and it has all grown from there."

The centre offers items including clothing in all sizes, shoes, non-perishable food items, fruit and vegetables, toys, small white goods, linen, crockery, tools and much more.

"We have everything but milk and cheese basically," Ms O'Grady said.

"We also have the local Men's Sheds making up tool boxes and filling them with tools.

"Bunnings has donated rakes, shovels and wheelbarrows.

"We had a man come in and drop off $2500 worth of new shoes and another donated $5000 of fruit and vegetables.

"We are already overflowing with lots of donations - we have five shipping containers and we are trying to get two more.

"But we would really like VISA gift card donations so that people can buy the stuff we can't get."

The recovery centre is open from 10am to 3pm on Mondays and Wednesdays but Ms O'Grady said she and Ms Hill would open the centre after hours on request for those in need.

She said people were extremely grateful for the donations.

"People are just over-whelmed," Ms O'Grady said.

"They come in and they just cannot believe what people are willing to give to them.

"People are still numb from the fires so I think they are grateful to have a few less things to think about."

The Community Recovery Centre is located at the Balmoral Community Hall on the corner of Wilson Drive and Hall Street, Balmoral.

For more information, call Kim Hall on 0412 786 114 or Kerry O'Grady on 0413 003 601.