Returning the favour

GENEROSITY: Sharni and Zoe Flavel and Kirralee and William Beinke check the IGA drop-off point, which is filled with donations.

GENEROSITY: Sharni and Zoe Flavel and Kirralee and William Beinke check the IGA drop-off point, which is filled with donations.

Cowell community members are collecting donations to make care packages for families affected by the bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland.

Personal care items, things for children to do such as colouring books and pencils, and notes from local school children are some of the items a group of locals have been gathering since fires began destroying homes along the east coast of Australia.

Kirralee Beinke said she decided she wanted to help after hearing news of homes destroyed and thinking about the impact the fires would be having on families in the area.

"I could not imagine losing my stuff... coming home and seeing all your memories gone," she said.

Mrs Beinke said the Cowell community had received a variety of generous donations in recent times due to the drought conditions in the region, with care packages sent by a school in New South Wales leaving a lasting impression.

As a community we've been on the receiving end of donations and to be able to give back... it's a nice thing.

Rebecca Flavel

Rebecca Flavel said while it could sometimes be difficult to accept help from strangers, receiving a gift with a personal touch was a great moment for her family to see that people across the country were thinking of them.

"As a community we've been on the receiving end of donations and to be able to give back... it's a nice thing," she said.

"If it brings a tear to their eye and a smile to their face, that's what it's all about."

Mrs Beinke said local businesses had been quick to jump on board, with the Cowell IGA, the Franklin Harbour District Council, the school library, Treadz at Cowell and Landmark all volunteering as drop off points for community members wishing to donate items.

She said the Cowell IGA had been "fantastic" in its support of the initiative, with a donations basket by the checkout already filling up quickly between pick-ups.

"We've had a really good response so far," she said.

The Kimba community has also jumped on board, with the local council accepting donations.

The team will be accepting donations until November 29, when the group will begin sorting donations into care packages.

Mrs Beinke said they were working with the Cowell Lions to distribute the donations, with the Lions Club also donating some of its Christmas stockings to the cause.