By Jordyn Grubisic
Residents are banding together to contribute donations to charities assisting those affected by the New South Wales bushfires.
Small business ‘By Erin, with love’ sold her cookies at the Elm Retirement Village Kilmore craft market, with all profits being donated to St Vincent de Paul.
Cookies were also available for purchase from owner Erin Gough’s house.
Ms Gough felt that she could create something that would assist in helping those affected by the bushfires.
“After being a part of the community that was affected by Black Saturday, I felt like I am in a position where I could create something small, and a lot of, and quickly,” she said.
“I decided to sell koalas and maps of Australia cookies to raise money for communities that were affected by the recent bushfire.
Ms Gough said the stall was a success through the support of the Elms residents.
“I was overwhelmed by the support as I firstly shared my image and idea on Facebook and Instagram,” she said.
“People were sharing and commenting and I knew I was doing something worthwhile.
“I had a lot of support from the staff from St Patricks in Kilmore, St Mary’s in Seymour as well as a lot of locals within our community.”
Ms Gough has raised more than $600 and is still baking more in hopes to reach her goal of $1000 to donate.
Carolyn Smith is another community member that is attempting to assist those interstate.
Ms Smith is involved in a wellness group online with a few members who have been through other disasters like Black Saturday and the floods in Queensland.
“Their hearts were breaking to see what the bushfire survivors were going through,” Ms Smith said.
Ms Smith, the group and others throughout Australia are rallying together to collect donations to make emergency kits to send to both New South Wales and Queensland.
The kits contain toothpaste, soap, toothbrushes, shampoo and conditioner, ladies sanitary items and other necessities.
The kits also have a hand-written card with a message inside and a roller bottle with essential oils for their emotional support.
Ms Smith said some of the kits she made would be sent interstate as well as being remaining in the Wallan and Beveridge area as Victoria headed into bushfire season.
“So far there has been roughly 2200 kits made all over Australia,” Ms Smith said.
Ms Smith said most of the items had been received from people outside of the area.
“I’m so grateful that people outside my area have been so generous,” she said.
“Not just one item, but bagfuls of items. It has been a journey, that’s for sure as I have never done anything like this before.”
People wanting to donate or purchase cookies can get in contact via the ‘By Erin, with love’ Facebook page.
Residents can contact Ms Smith at her stall at the Wallan market and through her Facebook.