BlazeAid supported by Wagga-based fundraiser

Adelong BlazeAid was supported with a $500 donation from G.J Gardner Homes.

The BlazeAid camp in Adelong has received a donation of $5000 from Hotels Have Hearts, with camp coordinator Steve Matthews travelling to Wagga last Tuesday to pick up the cheque.

Hotels Have Hearts, based in Wagga Wagga, hosted a fundraiser last November with the aim of raising money for local charities affected by bushfire. The event is run annually, with hoteliers in the region coming together to give back to the community.

The money raised through the fundraiser was originally going to be distributed in March, however the Covid-19 lockdown got in the way.

Adelong BlazeAid coordinator Mr Matthews said the money will help sustain the camp over the coming months.

“It’ll go towards just keeping camp operating and keeping materials going out to farmers,” he said.

“We probably go through four to five thousand dollars a month just on credit cards.”

Mr Matthews said it was “fantastic” to receive this support from the fundraising event.

“One of the problems for BlazeAid at the moment is that donations have dried up quite a bit because [the] bushfires are sort of the last thing on people’s mind now with Covid around and people losing their jobs, money’s tight and the economy’s not great, so donations have certainly dried up a bit,” he said. 

“This is amazing for BlazeAid to get some more cash injection, especially for the Adelong camp.”

The Adelong camp was also the recipient of a $500 donation from G.J. Gardner Homes earlier this month.

“They’re putting $500 donations in for the people they’re building homes for from the bushfires, and the people themselves get to choose the charity, so Max Gordon Hall from Batlow nominated BlazeAid.”

Mr Matthews is currently working on getting more volunteers into the Adelong camp, now that winter has passed and a number of international volunteers are due to move on soon. He says that within a week, the camp could be down to seven on-site volunteers.

“We have volunteers from all walks of life involved in helping farmers recover from the January bushfires,” an advert calling for volunteers reads.

“It does not take much to lend a hand and perhaps change lives in the process.”

As of Sunday, the Adelong camp has removed over 313km of fencing and built over 210km of new fencing. 250 properties have registered to be cleared, and 192 properties have had work started. 107 properties have been completed, around 43 per cent.

To date, the camp has seen 717 volunteers and over 7,600 volunteer days completed. The average age of volunteers is 50.1, and the camp has injected $433,475 into the local community.