Volunteers at the Australian Islamic Centre helped their community by traveling four hours just to provide donations and supplies to those in need.
As the devastating Australian bushfires continue to burn the beautiful country, the Australian Islamic Centre simply couldn't sit back and do nothing about it. With the assistance of social media, the group from Newport, Victoria- a suburb of Melbourne -was quick to raise $1,500 in just 48 hours. Additionally, they were also able to accumulate five trucks full of supplies which they traveled over four hours to deliver to those who were in dire need. After reaching Johnsonville, the ladies were quick to prepare breakfast for the exhausted firefighters who have been working tirelessly to control the ravaging flames that threatened to burn their beloved country to the ground.
Rashid Elhouli, who supervises online public relations for the Australian Islamic Centre, told CNN how the women had traveled for hours alongside several other volunteers to deliver necessary supplies to victims of the raging bushfires. The volunteers were able to feed breakfast to more than 150 firefighters in Johnsonville, Rodney Baylis—a Johnsvonville firefighter— being one of them. Taking to Facebook, the grateful fighter uploaded a video thanking the group for their kind efforts.
"[I] extend the thanks from the fire-affected areas. I have just been on the phone to the captain down there and he nearly broke into tears when I told him what we are bringing in for them today," Baylis was heard saying in the video. Furthermore, Elhouli explained how the Australian Islamic Centre began making plans to help out people who have affected by the devastating fire which has been burning for several months on Thursday. After having a word with the Melbourne Fire Brigade, they posted requests for donations and supplies like female hygiene products, water bottles, milk, baby wipes, and fresh fruit on social media. Following a prayer service the next day, the center hosted a sausage sizzle, where they sold plates of food to raise money for the bushfire victims.
Although the fundraising event was originally planned for their youth program, Elhouli revealed that the group decided to donate all of it to the victims of bushfire. "The money was meant to go towards girls youth activities," said Elhouli. "But they decided to donate it all to the bushfire appeal." The caravan of five trucks which were loaded with supplies, began its journey early Saturday morning to feed the firefighters at Johnsonville. After this feeding session, the Melbourne Fire Brigade escorted the volunteers to different locations to distribute the items.
"Our team set up another cookout and called all to eat. They had a variety of meals, including lamb kebab, chicken kebab, beef sausages, and mincemeat," revealed Elhouli. Praising the effort of the women who volunteered, the Australian Islamic Centre shared images of them working tirelessly for days to organize the fundraiser on Facebook. These sisters worked tirelessly to help organize aid for the bushfire appeal. Their work began on Friday noon, where they braved the heat to organize a sausage sizzle and raise money for the appeal; Alhamdullilah $1500 was raised. They then worked throughout Friday night sorting the much-needed items into different sections, getting them ready to load on to the trucks, reads the post. Saturday morning at 3 a.m., they were up and ready for the journey to the relief areas. They worked the whole day without complaint and showed genuine love and care in everything they did. No words can describe how proud we are of our sisters, may Allah reward you all. You are an inspiration to all.