Cootamundra has responded magnificently to a social media appeal for food and non-perishable items of all kinds for south coast bushfire victims who have suddenly found themselves without homes and household goods.
Local business operator Justyn Smith launched the local appeal in conjunction with a Sydney team who have recently delivered donated items to bushfire victims in the Taree region.
After talking with the Sydney team Mr Smith launched the appeal on Thursday and what followed was an "unbelievable" steady stream of people bringing donations into his business premises at 203 Hovell Street.
"It brought me to tears," Mr Smith said, showing the Herald through an industrial shed full of all sorts of donations as diverse as nappies, dog and cat food and socks.
At one end of the shed was a pallet of water bottles built up from packs of bottles brought in by different donors.
"As well as that we've had entire pallets supplied by local businesses, Deep's Menswear, IGA and Harris Tyres, and Mitre 10 has donated torches, batteries, hats and socks and lots of stuff," he said.
"Everyone's chipped in. We had about 30 people here yesterday putting everything into bags and marking each bag with its contents.
"We've had so much help and people have donated money, with which we've purchased fuel cards among other things."
There was so much being donated that the team ran out of bags to put everything in - Mr Smith put out a call for bags and "within a couple of hours I reckon we had 2,000".
The same thing with baby bottles - they had a lot of infant formula but only two bottles - they put it on Facebook and by Monday probably had 200.
Originally planning to leave for the coast on Tuesday, Mr Smith found he had a large trailer ready to go on Monday, and by midday yesterday had dropped goods off at the evacuation centre in Bermagui and the Moruya Southern Life Church, which is assisting the Red Cross.
The Red Cross has already received strong support from Cootamundra, with a raffle at the Ex-Servicemen's Club on Friday night raising $3000, supplemented by a grant of $5000 from the Club.
In the meantime, another truck load of donated goods from various parts of Cootamundra was completed at the Hovell Street premises of CEFA (Complete Air, Fire & Air) on Tuesday afternoon, ready to make its way to the coast on Wednesday.
After midday Saturday most goods had been packed and Mr Smythe sent people home, leaving advice for donations to go to his home.
"Lots of people came around, and by Saturday night you couldn't see my loungeroom floor."
The two appeals, one based at Sacred Heart and the other at Hovell Street, have worked collaboratively so that items suited for fire fighters have been swapped for items more suited to people without homes.