In November last year the lives of many Willawarrin residents was impacted significantly by an out of control bush-fire that ripped through the village.
Strong winds blew the fire towards the town with hot temperatures making conditions even more difficult for firefighters.
The fire went from severe to extreme in a matter of hours on November 8 that forced Willawarrin residents to evacuate and stay at the Kempsey showground.
A number of properties and homes were lost or damaged throughout the Willawarrin, Toorooka and Bellbrook area.
Due to this hardship, national online charity, GIVIT, has teamed up with St Vincent de Paul Kempsey to provide relief and assistance to those in the Willawarrin community.
GIVIT coordinates donations given from generous Australians to people who are in need with these donations coming in the form of cash or items.
The organisation has an array of registered charities that can access these funds or products with one being St Vincent de Paul.
GIVIT's NSW North Coast engagement officer, Denim Rose, says GIVIT has only recently launched its NSW programs but is already extremely active in assisting drought and bush-fire affected areas.
"We're fairly new in NSW having started in QLD 11 years ago and have employed engagement officers throughout rural areas of NSW for around 18 months to 2 years," she said.
"We've been active in the North Coast area since January."
Willawarrin Hotel publican, Gordon Anderson, says locals couldn't be more grateful for the donations given.
"Everyone in town is incredibly thankful for the assistance they've received, whether it be funds or equipment, peoples generosity has been so helpful towards getting our community back to the way it was," he said.
With Denim and Betty Green of St Vincent de Paul Kempsey joining together, effected Willawarrin residents have been able to build a platform to re-evaluate how they can best return their lives to normal.
"Betty and I have been working quite closely with the people of Willawarrin and donated through GIVIT, $4,500 worth of vouchers to the local hardware store to allow local families to purchase what they needed to get their properties repaired," she explained.
"We've also donated a number of generators to those in the local council area and have been able to distribute them quite wide and far."
Denim understands that with drought and COVID-19 impacting upon local communities as much help as possible is required and couldn't be happier to represent GIVIT within the North Coast region.
"It is an absolute privilege to help these communities," she said.
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