Shipping containers filled with toys and tools to help rebuild lives have been delivered to the people of Quaama.
The arrival of a second shipping container filled by generous Canberrans was celebrated on Monday, February 8, with an official welcome and thank you barbecue.
Representatives on the day included Eden-Monaro MP Kristy McBain, Bega Valley Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick, deputy mayor Liz Seckold and Nadine De Santis from Minderoo Foundation.
The pre-loved items are for households in the village and surrounds that have been deeply affected by the Black Summer fires of 2019/20.
The goods were collected and donated by Weston Creek Men's Shed in the ACT and the containers provided by the Minderoo Foundation.
President of the Weston Creek Men's Shed Allan Booth said whereas the first shipping container had been filled with tools, nuts and bolts, the second container had household items such as toys, craft materials and fishing gear among other things.
The first load was about people building their houses, the second is more about building back their lives.Allan Booth
Since the shed started publicising the initiative for Quaama, donations have been flooding in.
Mr Booth said the donations often come from people who do not know what to do with their tools.
"Some people don't realise sometimes that old tools left in the shed are of use - of course when it comes down here it is a big use," he said.
Among the offerings in the container cracked open on Monday, was a munificent donation from a Canberra man who had given away quality electrical tools worth an estimated $3000, Mr Booth said.
Mr Booth said he was trying to get other Men's Sheds in Canberra involved so that the Weston Creek relationship with Quaama can inspire others to support more areas impacted by the Black Summer fires.
Project coordinator Donald Firth said the Quaama community was experiencing locals donating items as well, some of the donations having being given to the person in their early crisis days and now no longer needed and passed on.
Mr Firth said cheerfully these two shipping containers of donations were "just the beginning".
Mr Firth said there were still people turning up to collect donations for the first time, as a result of people only just moving back into their houses.
Many residents are still renting and have not come to collect items due to not wanting to accumulate until they are settled on their property again.
Mr Booth echoed this sentiment explaining that there was a need to keep filling containers.
"Unfortunately these disasters are going to keep happening and if there is a container ready to go into a place where they have just been burnt out, who knows what benefit that could be," Mr Booth said.
Mr Firth said affected households in the northern part of Bega Valley Shire are invited to head to Quaama to source things they need from the donated items.