TWEED residents donated about $1000 towards the Red Cross Victorian bushfire relief appeal in less than one hour at Tweed City Shopping Centre yesterday.
“There were people making donations even before we had the stall set up,” said Marie Ivos, Tweed Heads Red Cross vice-president.
“We set up at 10am and people have already given us $1000 and it's not even 11am - that is how deeply local people have been affected by this tragedy.
“There are lots of $50, $20 and $10 notes in the collection buckets and one older gent gave $200.”
The Red Cross will be collecting donations for the national bushfire appeal outside JB Hi-Fi, adjacent to the centre food court, until next Wednesday.
Banora Point resident Stan Battistuzzi was one of the many who donated.
“I grew up on the land so I know what it is like to watch flames engulf trees and jump their containment lines - it's frightening,” he said.
One Tweed farmer has donated a field of fresh sweet potatoes in an appeal organised by MP Geoff Provest.
A local trucking company has offered the use of two semi-trailers to haul donated goods to Victorian bushfire relief centres. And school students are also chipping in.
Banora Point Public School hopes to raise several thousand dollars for the Red Cross Appeal, with each student asked to donate $2 today.
“The fires have been really emotional issues for all of us, and children pick up on that,” said principal Dean Files.
Mr Files said the school issued guidelines to staff and parents on the best way to discuss the graphic images of the bushfires screened on television.
Year 6 students at Kingscliff Public School approached assistant principal Lea Roys about organising a charitable mufti-day this Friday.
Australians are donating at least $1 million an hour to bushfire relief appeals, with the figure reaching more than $32 million by lunchtime yesterday.
The Salvation Army store at Tweed Heads South has received large amounts of clothing, baby goods, toys and other items to send to bushfire victims.
The St Vincent De Paul Society is also asking people to make cash donations to their bushfire appeal, rather than donate goods.
Suncorp bank at Tweed City Shopping Centre is also collecting goods such as clothing, nappies and non-perishable food items.