I STARTED an appeal last month for Queensland's flood victims. I felt for the farmers, the people on the land and the animals.
I wanted to do something for Queensland as soon as it happened and back then, there was nothing evident to help with.
So I contacted a charity that I know does a lot of good all year round, Aussie Helpers Ltd, and asked, "What can I do to help?"
I offered to do a collection of food, personal items, household products and other non-perishable items.
Aussie Helpers accepted and a seed was planted.
I pondered for a couple of days as to how to best do this, as I have never taken on a challenge like this before.
I was a bit scared of starting something that might fail or not get supported, but my husband, Frank, was really supportive and said "Give it a go if that's what your heart wants to do".
I approached an IGA supermarket and told the manager of my idea and he liked the sound of it and suggested I contact the Maffra store too.
With that I phoned Maffra's manager and she didn't hesitate.
The next day (January 4) I delivered new wheelie bins to the stores and stuck home-printed signs on them.
I sent an email to the ABC asking to promote the effort, but it wanted an interview. I hesitated, but in the end, I thought, it's for people who need our help, so I'll do it.
After the ABC interview, the WIN News team contacted me and wanted to do a story too. Since then, the donations have been pouring in.
I was contacted by a chap who wanted to join me and extend it to his region. I then extended it even further due to the demand.
In just 10 days, we had so much food, baby needs, long-life milk, bottled water and pet food, it truly amazed me at how a small community rallied to help the people of Queensland.
I am humbled at the generosity.
Some days I went in to empty the bins and collect what had been donated and could cry to see how kind people had been.
I am so proud to be part of the community here in Gippsland, I wanted to show the people of Queensland that the communities of Sale, Maffra, Stratford, Bairnsdale and Rosedale were here working incredibly hard to support them and help them.
I am just an ordinary woman with four young children, I work two jobs and my husband is self-employed.
We live a fairly normal, but sometimes hectic lifestyle, but this is something I had a passion to do to assist.
All the donations have been transported to Queensland in hamper packs to assist those in need.
Sue Wilson, Gippsland