With communities across much of Australia impacted by bushfires and memories still fresh in our minds of the unprecedented monsoonal event that caused Townsville’s flooding in 2019, the remarkable contribution of volunteers in times of need never fails to inspire.
Who will ever forget the images of the fire blackened faces of the volunteers tirelessly and selflessly battling the recent bushfires, or those showing the brave volunteers wading through rising floodwaters to rescue people from their homes in Townsville? These inspiring volunteers have touched us and left us in awe of their community spirit.
During this anniversary of the monsoonal event, let’s also remember the many unseen individuals who stepped up and made a difference in our community. Here is the story of one such individual, Trayeden Fulmer, just 15-years old at the time. [Photo above L to R: Trayeden Fulmer and his social media based task force team].
It was in February 2019 while assisting a friend with the cleanup of his property following the severe weather event that Trayeden showed great initiative and found a way to help the many residents requiring assistance.
Trayeden explains “I was motivated to create a Facebook group that soon become a platform for people to offer their time to assist with the clean up as well as providing an avenue for residents to reach out for help. The Facebook group played an important role in helping Townsville clean up and recover. I believe the group showed the true Australian spirit that lives within us all and eased the burden on the individuals who had their homes inundated.
My time coordinating my group of volunteers and the clean up efforts was an amazing experience. The willingness of the volunteers mixed with the gratefulness of the residents we were able to help was an emotionally filled time and is something I will cherish for the rest of my life. The smiles we were able to put on the faces of those who had just lost everything, and the comradery amongst the community, was a highlight, and something I am extremely proud of. That I was able to have such an impact on the community at such a young age is one of the greatest achievements of my life and it has given me a sense of pride within my community.
My journey as a volunteer has allowed me to grow significantly as a person. There were some emotionally hard times after seeing the destruction caused by the floods and seeing so many sentimental items lost was mentally tough to experience as a 15-year-old. It has taught me so much; how to positively contribute to others, how to communicate with people and provide support during such an emotional time and it gave me purpose as I was able to work toward a positive cause!”
To anyone considering volunteering, my advice is, just give it a go. As a 15-year-old, I never thought my actions could help so many people and support a community but I discovered any contribution, no matter how big or small, could change the life of someone. The feeling you get after helping someone is indescribable, so just give it a go. You won’t regret it!”
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