Community organisations and businesses roll up their sleeves to help flood-hit towns – Nine Shows

It has been organised chaos at Thread Together following floods that devastated communities across Australia's east coast.
"We know there are about 10,000 people that've been displaced. We've spent the morning sorting clothing which is coming to us from around the country," CEO of the organisation, Anthony Chesler, told A Current Affair.
Thread Together takes fashion never sold to those in need and this week, Mr Chesler has received thousands of requests for help.
READ MORE: Floodwater engulfs man's newly built mansion two weeks before he was able to move in
"It's new clothing which is really important. New clothing because we don't want people to be reminded of their set of circumstances by having to wear someone else's clothing," he said.
Staff from The Athletes Foot and fashion brand Stylerunner have also been volunteering their time.
"Look around us, there's so much that would go to landfill and people need it," one volunteer said.
READ MORE: Devastated residents claim second flood in a year is a 'man-made' problem
And the job is never done.
"We're still supporting people impacted by the floods of 2021 and we're still supporting people on the South Coast impacted by bushfires," Mr Chesler said.
On the other side of Sydney, help has only been a hot meal away.
READ MORE: Residents on higher ground threatened by landslides
In 2020, A Current Affair gave the team at Our Big Kitchen (OBK) a well-deserved facelift and this week, the community organisation is feeding flood-affected communities.
"The Big Kitchen brings smiles to people's faces, just through a hot meal, a nourishing hot meal made by a total stranger," founder Laya Slavin said.
Hard working volunteers have been cooking up a storm with curry, Bolognese and soup.
"We're making 2000 meals today, and those 2000 meals are very specific, they're going to be going to the Indigenous community of the Northern Rivers," OBK manager George said.
"It's twofold – we still have to support the charities we support on a weekly basis – Vinnies, men's refuges, women's refuges and when disaster happens, this is real, this is getting your hands dirty and really having an impact on someone's life."
Volunteer Jude and his mum have been on a mission to make 10,000 jam biscuits.
"To cheer people up – to spread some light," Jude's mum said.
At another kitchen just 15 minutes away, vans were packed and headed for the Northern Rivers.
"Inside this fridge – (there is) thousands of exquisitely healthy, delicious, nutritious meals made with love and specifically for this purpose, so we can roll them out as needed," Oz Harvest CEO Ronni Kahn said.
Next door, the organisation has set up an emergency supermarket.
"It's our emergency response that we set up during COVID. These hampers are going out to an aged care facility in the Northern Rivers that've called out. They're severely challenged because their residents cannot get out," Ms Kahn said.
Sikh Volunteers Australia are another organisation that has been there, when disaster strikes.
They have provided free food and drinking water to communities affected by bushfires, COVID-19 and now floods.
"I have seen the devastation before but not on this scale, this is something quite different," group leader Jaswonder Singh said.
"We consider ourselves a part of the big Australian community and it is our duty to come to the aid of our brothers and sisters.
"We're just trying to serve our faith and our community responsibilities and there's nothing special about it."
Also doing their bit to help is the team at Mid Coast Trucks.
"We're looking at taking up food, pet food, water, nappies, formula, nappies, toiletries, that sort of stuff," employee Rachel Salby said.
"My boss has donated a truck driver and Boral's donated a driver as well.
"We've got people up there with a forklift, waiting for us to get there to help unload."
After all, that's what community is all about.
For people impacted by flooding, there is help available.
In an emergency, phone your local SES unit on 132 500.
In life-threatening situations call Triple Zero immediately.
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