One Less Thing for a Community Member to do – Tony Harring, Veteran

Disaster Relief Australia | August 2021

tony harring

I had been volunteering in the community after the bushfires with another organization. It was during a job that a property owner mentioned Disaster Relief Australia, about a huge tree coming down so the family could safely re-enter their property again. He told a story about a burning tree that had come down onto the chicken coop, all the other chickens perished but there was one chicken that survived and was sitting on some eggs, and you guys found it. A little piece of joy was charged. So, I went home, did a little bit of research to find out who you are and what you do, and here I am.

I’m ex-military and an ex-copper. I’ve never had a career to be rich. Something pulls you to it. Volunteering is the same. It’s that opportunity to give something back, to do something for the greater good.

For these community members, 6 months on, they’re just starting to rebuild structures. That’s the easy bit. But after we go you know; this is their life. It’s challenging. If people don’t get in lump in their throat…. It’s a case of put the sunglasses on. Taking down a tree or moving a pile of wood to a lot of people wouldn’t mean a thing, but these acts of service in recovery mean steps towards rebuilding communities and rebuilding people’s lives.

There is no single best part to volunteering with Disaster Relief Australia. The welcome that you are given, the way the team works without having to work at being a team and seeing the results. And seeing one less thing for the community member to do. It’s kind of all wrapped up into a happy package!