Meet 26-year-old business owner fundraising for fire victims
A LISMORE man is collecting donations to purchase water, pet food and other supplies for residents of Drake which has been threatened by out-of-control bushfires for almost two weeks.
Richmond Hill resident Mitchell Dowse, 26, has created a Facebook page, Drake Fire Fundraiser, which his business, All the Gear N No Idea 4X4, is supporting,
So far more than $1800 of a $5000 target has been raised and Mr Dowse's garage is rapidly filling up with bottled water, non-perishable items and pet food.
"My family has had property close to Drake for almost 20 years and we have no idea if it is burned out because we can't there," he said.
"We are doing a fundraiser and taking water and food supplies to the town this Saturday and we would love some support as Drake is in an emergency situation from a huge bush fire and many have lost homes and farm animals."
Mr Dowse said his goal was get as much bottled water and non-perishable food, as well as pet food by Friday so it can be delivered on Saturday.
"We had a lady come by this morning and drop off 400 litres of bottled water," he said.
"We want to help the Rural Fire Service and as many people as we can, so anybody willing to make a donation or to drop off supplies please send us a message."
He said he has approached local grocery and hardware stores as well as Lismore City Council, all of whom, "have been really positive about helping."
"I was on the phone today with a lady from Drake who said things are getting really desperate out there," he said.
"They need dust masks with all the smoke which I'm going out to buy now."
Mr Dowse is the owner of All The Gear N No Idea 4X4 and has taken the week off to collect and convoy supplies to Drake on the weekend.
"While we have two ute and truck loads, if there is anyway you could help us that would be great," he said.
Mr Dowse said he also wanted thank Lismore Officeworks for the donation if five packs of water and Lismore Garden Centre for their trays of seedlings for the fire-affected community.
Anyone who wants to help can contact Mr Dowse via 0491161348 or via email at email@example.com or drop off items at 412A Richmond Hill Rd, Richmond Hill.