Christian volunteers swarm Lismore city
AN ARMY of more than 700 Church of Christ volunteers descended on Lismore to help clean Lismore's public parks, residents' homes and businesses today.
Volunteers walked the streets with trolleys to deliver 2000 relief packages to those in flood-affected areas and were organised by their Gold Coast branch to come from as far as Melbourne and Sydney.
Among the volunteers, John Ley from the Gold Coast church was assigned with a second volunteer to help Van Car Audio - a small business established for three years in the CBD - to assemble a vanity table.
"I'm very surprised at how high the water got," Mr Ley said, adding the inundation was beyond a metre in the car accessory shop.
"It's fantastic to be here today to help. It's a Christian responsibility to my fellow people in society to help in any which way we can, no matter how small."
Shop owner Van Son Huynh said it was the first time he accepted the help of a stranger throughout the flood recovery.
"It put a big smile on my face today," Mr Son Huynh said.
Lismore Chamber of Commerce organiser Ellen Krohen helped organise volunteers for businesses who indicated a need.
"Today is all about clearing rubbish; we have one business which said they needed help today to wash a number of glass shelves, so we'll go over there and drop off some of the volunteers to help with the work," Ms Krohen said.
"The businesses are just so happy to have some extra help."
The church has also indicated it will give money to a local school and $10,000 to the Lismore Flood Appeal.
Lismore Mayor Isaac Smith said the mammoth operation yesterday was another step in getting the CBD back on track.
"We cannot thank the generosity of the church enough," Cr Smith
"We are seeing some incredible acts of compassion and generosity come from this disaster.
"It has been an absolutely unbelievable community effort to rebuild Lismore to where it is."
A ceremony was held at the Lismore PCYC from 4pm to 5pm to thank the volunteers for their efforts.