HELPING HAND: Chia Eastly and Rachel Ellis prepare meals for emergency crews and displaced residents.
HELPING HAND: Chia Eastly and Rachel Ellis prepare meals for emergency crews and displaced residents. Contributed

Town binds together to support those in need

THE true spirit of community has been on display at the Stanthorpe Showgrounds over the last few days with volunteers helping feed and water fire fighters.

Jason Rogers returned home from a week of truck driving on Friday night and decided he had to help the victims and volunteers at the Stanthorpe fires.

What started as a small volunteer effort at the showgrounds has grown exponentially.

"I come from the bush at Hughenden and want to help people in the bush," Mr Rogers said.

One of the volunteers at the showgrounds, Leanne O'Donnell, turned up to have breakfast with her husband on Sunday and hasn't left.

"We had some fireys in this morning who managed to get a couple things on a plate and were called away.

"We've got lots of grab packs they've been taking," she said.

While set up to support fireys, they've seen more people come through who have been displaced by the fires, Mrs O'Donnell said.

"We're also getting lots of donations of people just bringing stuff in.

"Any time we need some more I put a call out on Facebook and, oh my god, the response."


Donations at showgrounds
Donations are flooding in at the showgrounds. Matthew Purcell

On top of individual donations, Stanthorpe's Woolworths, IGA and Aldi, as well as Coles in Warwick have all given food and water.

"This was started by one person from Warwick and it has grown and grown.

"There's been a few us who have been here two days.

"I was here until 9 last night and back at 6pm this morning.

"None of us have lost our homes.

"We were evacuated and there's been lots and lots of others volunteering here who were evacuated.

"The stories we are hearing have been horrible," she said.

Stanthorpe Fire Station officer-in-charge Ian Barnden paid a visit this morning to thank the volunteers.

"It's pretty overwhelming really. So many here trying to help any way they can.

"Being a local guy here its incredible. What a great community.

"I just come up to thank these people. Without them we'd be hungry basically.

"How can you thank these people though? Just too many to thank that have given up their time. Truly amazing," Mr Barnden said.