Local Hero: Rodney Mitchell

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Rodney Mitchell established Minute by Minute Disaster Relief, a Nowra-based not for profit charity and the 100 percent community Minute by Minute Op-Shop as a way to support locals affected by the bushfires, in January this year.

“After previously doing and funding 13 supply runs in my own truck to fire affected towns and communities, we realised how bad it was and that nothing was getting through from all the other agencies to the actual people that needed it straight away.“ says Rodney.

“This also gave me the opportunity to personally talk to and see first-hand the destruction the fires had caused and fine tune our help to exactly the areas that were most in need, making everything we do vitally essential to everyone we help,” he added.

Since launching in January of this year, Minute by Minute Disaster Relief has taken full truckloads of food and supplies to every major town right down to Bermagui, including Moruya Aboriginal Council, during and post-bushfires. The charity has also provided the community’s most vulnerable with a range of support including the delivery of groceries and other essential items to seniors in isolation as a result of COVID-19.

“When lockdown started in March, we began to run a free seniors, aged pensioners, disability pensioner’s food and toilet paper truck, doing home deliveries to most vulnerable and most at risk, so they don’t have to leave home.

“We now have a 100 percent community Op-Shop run by Michael and Penny that offers support to low income families, including furniture and emergency food supplies. This along with our new furniture department is constantly selling and donating necessary items to the less fortunate, as most other charities has stepped away from that area or have chosen to charge too much,” he continues.

With a growing number of people needing help as a result of bushfire, floods and now COVID-19, and being a 100 percent community, Rodney stressed funding is fundamental to the business.

“We are in constant need of monetary donations as we are constantly helping the community with food, furnishings and furniture. People are also able to make donations via our Minute by Minute Disaster Relief Op-Shop (also a page on Facebook), where we help struggling families and families that need assistance after the fires.

If anyone is keen to support the charity, Rodney asks that they join Minute by Minute Disaster Relief Inc. Group and our Minute by Minute Disaster Relief Op-Shop Facebook pages to keep up with our progress and updates to where they can help.”

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