Mates muster bushfire aid to say ‘thanks’

By David Ryan, 29 January 2020
George Webb (left) loads up another truckload of requested donations headed to Cobargo, NSW. Image: Alphonsus Fok/The Catholic Weekly.


Catholic and Orthodox Australians have united in their support of bushfire victims as Maronite George Webb, and members of the community in Moorebank have been running convoys to affected communities since November.

“I have had to take time off work – I’ve lost a bit of money [but] you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do,” said Mr Webb.

Disturbed by the plight of Australian farmers hit by fire and drought, he felt compelled to reach out from the suburbs of Western Sydney and start the food drive initiative.

“Farmers are close to my heart,” he said. “They are the spine of our country and I know they go through a lot of hardship – the weather, the banks, the government. They are the ones who put food on our table.”

A medley of Maronites, Syrian Orthodox, and non-religious, in co-ordination with Mr Webb have banded together with Wakeley charity Food Angel to supply food for the affected in convoys of hired trucks and cars.

“I asked for certain things – baby food, formula, nappies, water, all non-perishable canned foods, UHT milk – and a lot of people have reached out and donated. We were overwhelmed,” he said.

The Holroyd Rangers soccer club has also thrown its support behind the convoys which have made it through to affected areas of New South Wales from Taree to Cobargo and everywhere in between.

Numbers and vehicles fluctuate with the availability of friends and volunteers, Mr Webb said. The one constant, however, is the supply of food to those affected.

“This trip my 15th trip,” he told The Catholic Weekly. The relief convoys, will continue until fire season ends, he said.

By David Ryan. Reproduced with permission from The Catholic Weekly, the news publication of the Archdiocese of Sydney.


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