December 2019 will long be remembered for the horrific Christmas bushfire season. We remember the hazy, smokiness that filled our skies for weeks on end and the ash that rained on us when the closest fire was hundreds of kilometres away.
Taree was one of the first places effected and as always Aussies were quick to help out and donate what they could. A month after the fires left, the town of Taree was overrun with donations of clothes, shoes and linens. Everyone who needed had enough, their op shops were full to the brim, and they were storing the excess in empty warehouses and dumpsters with no one knew what to do with it all!
By miracle chance, Clinton was volunteering in Taree using his tradie skills to help people rebuild after the devastation of the fires. As a major supporter of ours, when he heard the problem of too many clothes he gave a us a call. We sprang into action to see how we could help and called the various contacts who were separately looking after the incoming and excess donations.
Over the two weeks around Christmas Richard and Lesley made 6 round trips to Taree in our bumpy, noisy truck s quickly as they could while dodging the Christmas Public Holidays. By collecting the excess clothes, shoes and linens we could send it to help other people in need and save it from going into landfill. Working with different local volunteers in Taree to load up the truck made for some delays and retraining on how to load each time. A couple of times there wasn’t any able body helpers available so Lesley in particular remembers the adventure of loading 2 tonnes on her own in the summer heat. Our warehouse team would unload as quickly as possible after each trip, sometimes staying late to do so, so that our truck could head back out again the next day.
This was definitely another of our amazing adventures and a huge miracle!
In a case where too much help overwhelmed the people of Taree we were an answer to their prayers and their donations to us were an answer to ours as we had requests for more clothes from Africa we didn’t know how to fill.
Thank you Jesus for another win win win!