Local concreter Jamie Olsson has been at the heart of the initiative, and together with Emily, they came up with the idea to organise a convoy of locals to transport goods down to the south coast.
“We always knew that Avoca Surf House was going to be the collection point but even I thought at one point, shit, how are we going to get everything down there – especially since I know down south they don’t want a lot of cars on the road.”
“Jamie was so willing to offer all of his trucks and vehicles to help transport all the donations and alongside another local company, Earth Max, we really got the manpower we needed. The boys have just come together and said let’s do it. They’re giving up their time to help make this happen,” Emily continued.
Emily has been in direct consultation with communities and RFS volunteers in the affected areas, and volunteer’s tomorrow at the Avoca bushfire collection will be sorting, labelling and organising the donations so that only the items that are desperately needed will be transported down on the day.
As for any excess items, Eagles Storage has jumped on board and donated several storage warehouses on the Central Coast, so that the goods can be packed and made easily accessible for when more supplies are needed. The community also plans on reaching out to drought-affected areas across the nation, to provide care packages and food from any excess donations.
“The girls from Avoca Surf House reached out when they saw all the information I was sharing about the bushfires on my social channels, and they asked me, ‘we know that you live at North Avoca we’re running this initiative, would you mind sharing it?’” Nicole shared.
“Of course, I said yes – but I actually said to them, do you mind if I volunteer? I live at the other end of the beach, it’s the least I can do!
“I’ve got a lot of my friends coming with me and it just really made sense to be a part of, I didn’t really think twice about it. Power in numbers is truly remarkable, and I truly believe the entire Central Coast is going to get behind this.”
If you’re interested in popping by for the day, the donation drive will be accepting goods from 6am-10am Saturday 11, and a community-run barbecue organised by the local board riders club will be feeding volunteers and donators throughout the day. All of the funds raised will go directly towards the RFS and WIRES as well as back into the South Coast community, through the purchase of hay bale and water tanks.
“Mobilising the community is the most important part, because a lot of people sit back and want to do something, but don’t always know how to,” Emily said.
“If you can make that happen, you will always be overwhelmed by how they respond. We’re just providing the vehicle to allow them to connect with the south. Pun intended.”