A huge effort by local families resulted in a major mercy dash down the South Coast to the Bega Evacuation Centre by Joshua Lewis and the Franklin Family who own Micway Transport in the first week in January.

The community collection was sparked by Linda Lewis following a conversation with her dad on New Year’s Eve on how to help the bushfire victims. The Stanhope Gardens mum said on Facebook that the initial idea had been to offer a truck and driver to Woolworths if they donated some stock.

She said the company jumped on board “straight away” but then it “escalated”.

“On Thursday afternoon, I thought I might ask a few friends if they would like to donate some essential items for the evacuation centres.”

One of the people who jumped straight onto Facebook was Chiara Foeken (pictured) who put out a call on the Castle Hill Knights Baseball Club page. Her call out was answered by a huge number of groups including all the Hills baseball clubs, Castle Hill United FC, Castle Hill and Kellyville Adventist Church, Castle Hill Rotary and Glenhaven Community Group plusindividuals who filled a store room at baseball club’s site at Glenhaven is just over an hour.

The next day, Sunday Chiara was collecting in Galston at her daughter’s dance school, Phoenix Dance Studios.

“It was so beautiful to see the community working together,” she said.

More than 20 pallets were filled and loaded in 40 plus degree heat by volunteers who worked until 4am. Linda Lewis said they ended up loading two trucks which they delivered to the evacuation at Bega.

Her post on Facebook read: “The past three days have shown me what amazing human compassion is all about. I didn’t even know many of the people who knocked on my door but your donations are appreciated

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