BLAZE Aid volunteers could still be helping farmers in and around Cobden until Christmas.
Cobden camp coordinator Christine Male said she had no doubt they had a few months of work ahead.
“It’s a bit of a joke in house that we will (be here till Christmas) but in a perfect world we will have finished up before that,” she said.
“But it depends how the weather treats us, it depends how many volunteers we have and it depends if anymore famers decide they do need help and decide to register because our books are still open.
“We won’t leave anybody in the lurch.”
Mrs Male said so far about 475kms of fencing had been rebuilt and 140kms had been cleared.
“Today I’ve got 18 out in the field,” she said.
Mrs Male said it was important that the wider community know that Blaze Aid was still supporting local farmers.
“It’s not getting harder but it’s just to remind people that we’re still here, we’re still going strong and we just continue to need community help and support,” she said.
“Food and their labour are the two primary things but also when we have to purchase things discounts are always appreciated.
“We’ve got some wonderful volunteers and I’m so very proud of them and they work they do and the support they offer the farmer in as much as they really care.
“It’s emotional support and psychological support.
“The average of our volunteers is 68.9 years, they’re just fantastic.
“People around here are so generous and the grey nomad population at large are very generous with their time and support.”
Mrs Male said since arriving in Cobden about six months ago she had returned home to Gippsland for one weekend but she remained committed to getting the job done.
“We love the challenge of getting it done,” she said.
“Now there’s almost a light at the end of the tunnel. We’re absolutely determined to see it through and make sure that we don’t miss anybody.
“Now that the worst of the winter is over it’s more appealing to the population at large to help.”
Mrs Male encouraged farmers affected by the St Patrick’s Day fires to get in touch.
“I think the pride among farmers is from our point of view an enormous obstacle,” she said.
“They believe they can still do it and they don’t need any help.
“They also believe that some of their farming colleagues are worse off then them.”
Rose shows her resilience to community
ROSE Beasley and her family lost everything in the St Patrick’s Day fires.
But the grade five student from St Thomas’ Primary School in Terang said her family was grateful for the support they had received from the Lions Club and the wider community.
To thank everyone Rose wrote a letter to the community which she recently read at her school assembly.
In the letter Rose said waking up the day after the fire was strange knowing they had lost everything.
“Mum and Dad took us out to what was no longer our house, there were trees and posts still on fire and it was really scary,” she wrote.
“What was probably one of the worst days of our life however soon became a lot better with people’s generosity and overwhelming love like yours.
“My family really appreciate your kind donation and support.”
Rose’s teacher Bridget Robinson said she asked the class to write a formal letter which could have been a job application or letter of complaint.
“Rose asked if she could write a letter of gratitude and it all came from her,” Ms Robinson said.
“I just think she’s been incredibly inspirational.
“Never once has she used what they’ve been through as an excuse.
“She’s been incredibly resilient and almost used it as motivation to continue to push through.
“To use an opportunity through writing and the trauma they’ve been through and turn it into a positive thing and be grateful - her resilience has been amazing.
“There weren’t many dry eyes at assembly.”
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