Providing kids affected by bushfires with school supplies

Alexandra Podgorski with some of the new backpacks ready to help students in fire affected communties. Photo: contributed
Alexandra Podgorski with some of the new backpacks ready to help students in fire affected communties. Photo: contributed

Young resident Alexandra Podgorski is donating children's backpacks filled with learning supplies to communities devastated by the state's bushfires.

For more than two years, Alexandra has been helping youngsters in the Young community begin their school years with a fresh backpack and new stationary.

With her dad fighting fires as part of the Illawarra Strike Force, and hearing from him the destruction caused by bushfires, Alexandra has decided to send as many backpacks as possible to these fire affected areas.

"[my dad] has been out fighting the fires since August. He has seen first hand the devastation the fires has left, especially there is a lot of families and children left with nothing but the clothes on their backs," Alexandra said.

"I knew than and there I wanted to help. I know the holidays are nearly over and it's going to be hard for parents in the fire affected areas to afford, or to get to the shops to get the school essentials, and donating these packs to these areas will definitely help."

The bags include drink bottles, lunch box, pencil case with stationary, exercise books, textas and colouring pencils.

Alexandra has been coordinating with Rural Fire Service and parents and teachers in towns including Buxton, Bargo, Quaama, Cobargo and Batemans Bay. She has a contact in Canberra who can transport them to be distributed.

"They have all expressed their interest in obtaining these bags. I'm currently awaiting final numbers for packs needed. It would be over 100 needed," she said.

Late last week, Alexandra has 45 packs ready to go and the supplies for about another 90.

She said she was in need of some more items and was willing to make more.

"I already have made and distributed 30 bags to our town. I have another 45 bags packed and ready to be sent to Canberra, I have supplies available to fill another 90 odd packs. But need a few more items donated for me to be able to complete the bags."

Members of the public have been hugely generous, she said, as well as a handful of businesses.

A collection point has been established at TSG Young, Boorowa Street.