Letters

Thank you…we love you

Ed,

I’ve finally found a moment to thank the amazing Clarence Valley Community for their support during this ongoing nightmare created by the Catastrophic Flooding Event in our beautiful Northern Rivers.

It’s not easy to find the words to show our appreciation for the broad support our little team has received over the past couple of months.

We’ve had our volunteer numbers swell during the triage phase of this Natural Disaster to a level we’ve not experienced previously, and that has been a huge compliment to our team to know what we do is so readily supported in times of crisis.

Additionally, the number of fundraisers from which we’ve benefited over this time has caused many a tear to be shed among our little ‘Nerd Crew’. I’m afraid to mention one for fear of missing many. 

However, we do want to thank a couple of organisations who’ve so generously supported our ongoing efforts. In fact, we had no idea that they had held fundraisers at all. So, a massive thank you; we love you to the Yamba Hotel team, the GDSC team, the Dougherty Property team and the ETC team for their financial donations and others who will receive a thank you (when my brain is a little less exhausted and I’ve time to go back and list them properly). 

There are so many organisations, individuals and small businesses that have supported our efforts through supplying goods at wholesale price, or the donation of goods directly to us. Again, so many that I know I can’t list them all here. Three that have been particularly generous are the teams at Bunnings Grafton, South Grafton News & Gifts and the Clarence Valley Wholesalers. Thank you we love you too!

When time permits, we will ensure we thank as many as we possibly can individually. We’re actually toying with the idea of a thank you Op Shop Black Tie BBQ under the Stars which may have to wait until Spring and the much-desired departure of the El Nina weather pattern.

Sadly, there’s still so much work to do. I fear that the Clarence Valley is only just starting to count the cost. Unfortunately, our LGA covers a massive geographical area with a significantly dispersed population, unlike the Richmond & Tweed where populations are more condensed and the impact more visually distressing. 

We’re still regularly encountering families and individuals who’ve not been able to access support, or for that matter leave their properties in more remote areas of the Valley. Small bridges and roads have been utterly obliterated leaving many isolated and without power and other utilities.

In a region where many Defence and Emergency Services Veterans choose to live either completely off grid or at the very least in isolated locations there’s great fear among many in our community that these individuals may be injured, or worse, and there’s no capacity to check on their welfare.

We’re working with officials, individual communities, and community members to get support that is needed to where it is needed. A recent case was particularly distressing, albeit I fear not an isolated situation. A family of eight had been living under an open sided gazebo since the first flooding event until early last week when we were able to secure a tent, beds, kitchen items and other ‘camp furnishings’ for them via an amazing woman who has taken it upon herself to do the outreach work in her area. I won’t name her here, she’d kick my bottom if I did, however it is through the efforts of compassionate human beings in the Clarence Valley that flood survivors (I don’t like the word ‘victim’) are being identified and are able to finally access some support. 

With no power, no internet access, no vehicular access to major centres many of our community members are feeling forgotten. Many have no idea what support is available, if they do they have no internet access, no functional IT devices and often a level of IT literacy that simply won’t enable them to successfully navigate the web-based support mechanisms. 

We continue to communicate through our Facebook Group the needs of specific individuals and families, and the ongoing needs for our core caring kit range. 

Again, we are incredibly humbled by the support and will make every effort humanly possible to ensure that the service we deliver is top notch, compassionate and where appropriate add a little humour to the situation. As the saying goes; if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry and there’s really no time for tears. 

Nerdiest of nerd hugs.

Ursh & the Shed crew (The Mend & Make Do crew), South Grafton

X