A PERSONAL trainer from Gippsland is leading a drive to help fire-affected residents get back on their feet.Heyfield's Joel Dinsdale evacuated to Traralgon on Friday when out of control fires threatened his town.
Twenty one homes were destroyed when bushfires devastated the areas of Seaton, Dawson and Glenmaggie late last week.
Joel said he felt helpless in Traralgon while the fires raged, but it swung him into action with the help of social media.
On Saturday at 2pm he posted a message on his personal facebook account asking for donations to be dropped off at his workplace in Traralgon Genesis Fitness.
"By 5pm five ute loads of furniture, clothes, toiletries and kids toys had been dropped off," Joel said.
"We brought it back (to Heyfield) and set up temporary drop off (point) at the Railway Hotel and did the same thing on Sunday and collected items from Sale, Maffra Traralgon and Heyfield," Joel said.
Since then they have moved the donation centre to an old computer shop on Macfarlane St and are working with the Salvation Army and other volunteers to sort through the donations.
Joel's parents house in Glenmaggie was not affected but he knew of people who lost their home and this prompted him to take action.
"I was just the first one to react and do something I was feeling pretty helpless over there in Traralgon and it's snowballed into this big operation," he said.
Heyfield Community Resource Centre co-ordinator Heather Coleman said many of those affected had been reluctant to seek help was appealing for those who needed help to contact them.
"We need those people to come in," Ms Coleman said.
"Today we had someone come in who had been affected and he has been sleeping in his car, he has been staying with friends.
"There are so many sad stories."
The Wellington Shire have also been instrumental in co-ordinating recovery efforts and today put out a plea for temporary cattle yards to help contain and move affected stock.
The Victorian Farmers Federation has also called for fodder donations for the up to 180 properties which have been impacted.
The Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund has also been activated to assist community members affected by the fires.
Those seeking fire recovery information, should phone 1300 137 218 or the Heyfield Community Resource Centre on 5148 2100.
Donations of household goods and furniture can be taken to 14 Macfarlane St, Heyfield or contact the Salvation Army on 137 258.
Any farmer seeking emergency fodder can also contact the VFF on 1300 882 833 or Department of Primary Industries on 131 186.