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When natural disasters bring out the best in people

The catastrophic scale and devastation wrought by the recent ‘Black Summer’ bushfires are like nothing the world has ever seen. Thirty-three people have lost their lives, 3000 homes destroyed, over a billion wild life killed, 7.7 million hectares burnt, thousands of ancient Aboriginal sites damaged and the country being choked by the worst air quality in the world.

Considering the statistics, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless. The recovery task is gradual and can feel too enormous to know where to begin.

But rising out of the ashes of these horrendous bushfires is the most incredible groundswell of good will and support. People from all walks of life have not only donated towards the many bushfire appeals but are seeking other practical ways to help.

One of the organisations leading the recovery effort is BlazeAid, a volunteer-based group that works with rural communities impacted by natural disasters to help rebuild fences and other structures that have been damaged or destroyed.

To become a BlazeAid Volunteer, you don’t need any fencing experience, just a willingness to give it a go and learn on the job. All skill and fitness levels are catered for with jobs ranging from clearing debris and running wires through to heavier work such as digging and erecting posts.

Not only do volunteers help with the practical task of rebuilding of fences, but in many respects, they also help to rebuild the community.

“We asked you to come help us rebuild our fences but you guys have done way more than that, you have helped us rebuild our broken community. For that, we are forever grateful to you and all the amazing volunteers”, says Maree Perkins from Monto in Queensland following the 2013 floods.

Not only do the communities benefit from the work BlazeAid volunteers do, but so to the volunteers themselves.

“Whilst it was incredibly rewarding to help build new fences for farmers impacted by the recent fires, the highlight for me was the obvious boost in moral this gave to the farmers in return,” says Damien Ross who recently returned from a BlazeAid camp in NSW.

“In the grand scheme of things, rebuilding the fences is just one aspect of the recovery they face so to help with this was an incredibly rewarding experience”.

BlazeAid are currently looking for volunteer Camp Coordinators and people to lend a hand.

We are bucking the usual trend on SEEK Volunteer of asking you to express your interest through our site. BlazeAid Camp Coordinators are on the ground with their sleeves rolled up, but waiting for you call. So, please call BlazeAid Camp Coordinators directly.