Bush Fire Appeal

 The Gold Coast Hinterland was put on alert in September 2019 after fires burnt large areas of bush land and private property. Canungra is situated very close to the areas that were affected.  In Sarabah one home was lost and eleven homes were destroyed in Binna Burra as well as the iconic Binna Burra Lodge. Canungra Op Shop was asked to assist by accepting cash donations because of our Charity status. The op shop gave immediate help to bushfire victims in need as a result.

During the fires, many people in the Gold Coast Hinterland area quickly gave their time and effort to help those in danger of losing their homes and animals. There are many who gave money to help meet the costs of those affected. Our team of volunteers put in extra time to help sort and distribute the things we were given. A huge thank you goes to all who gave of themselves through this crisis.


Donations started to pour in –  financial,  personal care items, food, water and household items. The volume was such that the Recovery Centre at Canungra Showgrounds couldn’t handle them. After 2 days it was decided that all donations would be left at the op shop, with food and water being transported to the Showgrounds. That decision made sure the Showgrounds was not blocked by unnecessary traffic.

The generosity of people in the Hinterland area, Gold Coast and even Brisbane was astonishing.  A big thank you to the following groups who reached out to their networks and gathered items to donate:

  • Kool Kidz Childcare, Nerang
  • Mudgeeraba Rural Fire Brigade
  • Camp Hill State School (pictured)
  • Team Transport, Acacia Ridge
  • plus other businesses who’s details I forgot to record (my apologies for that oversight)

The Canungra Op Shop became the processing centre for handling the donations of clothing, towels, bedding and other household items. We also accepted non-perishable food and water, which was taken to the Recovery Centre.

Distributing Donations

Our Op Shop manager, Caroline Andrew, kept in contact with local community members who could gauge through local knowledge who was actually in need. Those who were worst affected were too distressed by their losses to be able to work out how to access the help available through Government, local council and the larger charity organisations.

Flood of Generosity

We quickly became overwhelmed with the volume of donated items.  By Tuesday 10th September, we had to tell people to hold off donating any more clothing or linen, and suggested financial help would be more useful.

In the first two weeks we raised over $7,000 through our appeal. People who were affected by the fires were quickly able to access help from Canungra Op Shop as a result. The state Government, the Scenic Rim Council or other charities who had been receiving donations for bush fire victims were taking too long to get assistance to those who needed it. 

What We Achieved

Here’s a breakdown of how we used the money we raised:

Food    $  2,100
Fuel            800
Tank Water *        3,205
Cleaning        2,240
Other aid **        5,260
     TOTAL   $ 13,605

*Tank water is important as rural homes do not have town water supply.

** Includes clothing, rent payments, stock feed, furniture & equipment.

If you know of anyone who is still suffering financial stress due to the bush fires in 2019, please contact us and we will give assistance.