There wouldn't be many Cobargo and district locals who don't recognise the jolly bearded face of David Rugendyke.
He and wife Barb have been long-time residents, foster parents to hundreds of children - and every Christmas he shares smiles and joy as the village Santa Claus.
In 2018 he even converted an old golf cart into a Santa sleigh so he could arrive at his main street throne is style.
Tragically all that was lost in the New Year's fire that tore through the heart of Cobargo, not only destroying his throne and surrounding stores, but also levelling his family home on the edge of town.
Debbie Lamb from Bermagui and Tuross Little Lambs Preschool said she got chatting to David during a New Year's "raincheck" at the Cobargo Hotel.
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"I gave him a hug and asked him how he was and if there was anything Little Lambs could do for him and his family since losing it all on that horrific night in Cobargo," Debbie told the Bega District News.
"Dave's words to me were 'life is grand, all is good', but his eyes told a different story and almost broke me.
"We continued chatting and he told me how he hoped his Santa bell had survived the fire, but that was not to be. The brass was in a melted pile among the rubble where once his home stood.
"The sleigh was gone and so had his Santa suit and horse float he used to tow the sleigh to events."
Ms Lamb said David has been Santa to not only her preschools, but many organisations in the Bega and Eurobodalla shires for more than 10 years.
"He covers all travel and expenses himself and never asks for anything in return.
"Then it hit me this man and his family have always given to our community and now it's time for us to give back."
Ms Lamb shared the story of the Rugendykes' loss on Facebook and had an incredible response.
"A lady by the name of Robyn Davis From Tura Beach saw the post and upon hearing Santa had lost it all had a chat to her husband Alan about what they could do.
"Alan then called his boss - Raymond Georgia from Augusta Golf Cars in Queensland.
"David then got a phone call from a generous stranger many miles away that brings him to tears."
Augusta Golf Cars in Yatala have donated a EZGO electric cart that "Santa" can convert back into a sleigh.
The cart was transported from Queensland to Augusta Golf Cars in Sydney, and then from Sydney to Tura Beach by Neville Bobbins of Bobbins Transport free of charge.
On Saturday, Alan and Robyn Davis, along with Debbie, delivered the golf cart to the Rugendykes - David was wearing a Santa suit for the arrival!
"It truly was a day I will never forget," Debbie said.
"Being Santa for our community is Dave's happy place and that's why this project is super important when there is so much heartache around.
"I just know how much my preschoolers and families both at our Bermagui and Tuross Centre would be devastated if Santa didn't arrive on his amazing sleigh and I am ecstatic with the outcome and so grateful with the generosity of not only the local community but Australia wide.
"I would like to personally thank everyone involved for making this happen I am truly speechless and forever grateful for their generosity."
It has been Australia's lost summer. Drought, hail, floods and, worst of all, bushfires have ravaged communities all over the nation. But the selfless actions of friends, family, neighbours, strangers, local groups and volunteer organisations have inspired us and strengthened the bonds of community. Please join us in saying thanks to the heroes of the home front by sharing your stories of gratitude. To salute a person or a group, please use the form below.