The Brimbank community is digging deep to help those affected by the devastating Victorian bushfires.
Fundraising efforts have continued in earnest since the bushfire crisis worsened earlier this month.
At the recent St Albans Lunar Festival volunteers raised a staggering $20,000. Members of the Quang Minh Temple and the Vietnamese traders played a significant role in taking collections, while firefighters from St Albans dropped by to rattle the tins.
Fundraising efforts in St Albans were so successful that the campaign will continue at the Footscray, Richmond, Box Hill and Braybrook Lunar New Year Festival celebrations this month.
Member for St Albans Natalie Suleyman said it was an amazing show of community spirit.
“Thank you to St Albans and Quang Minh Temple Volunteers – an amazing result raising $20,000 for the bushfire appeal so far,” Ms Suleyman said.
“Our thoughts are with the communities affected by the fires.”
Brimbank council contributed $10,000 to the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund.
Mayor Georgina Papafotiou said it was only fitting the council contribute.
“The fires in the eastern and north-eastern part of our state have led to terrible loss of life, property, livestock and wildlife and our hearts go out to the community members and emergency services fighting so hard at this time,” Cr Papafotiou said.
“We’re feeling the pain of the communities who are affected and want to do what we can to assist.”
There will be a number of collection boxes set up across multiple council facilities where members of the public can donate to the fund.
Brimbank libraries are calling on local crafters to make pouches for baby joeys, koalas and other affected wildlife who have lost their homes or have been injured by the fires, while a number of local sporting clubs have arranged charity matches.
Emergency workers have also played their part.
Members of the St Albans fire brigade and the Brimbank SES were deployed to fire-affected areas and remain on watch.
Brimbank SES member Bernie Thatcher said there was still a way to go.
“Three of our members went on deployment to the fires. They went to a couple of different towns, but all sort of stuck together as part of a taskforce,” Ms Thatcher said.
“As far as we know there will probably be a lot more members deployed for the clean-up after.”