Support floods in for overwhelmed family after big fire
JUST three weeks ago, the Douglas family from Shannondale lost their home and their possessions in a fiery blaze.
But now they're back on their feet, have a roof over their heads, and say they're stronger than ever.
Michelle Douglas is mother to five children and she and husband Shane are just thankful no one was hurt in the fire.
"We're doing a lot better; a lot stronger," Mrs Douglas said.
"We're now living in our shed and we've had so many donations that we're nearly fully homed again.
"The amount of support has been very humbling... we're overwhelmed," she said.
Donations came flowing in just hours after news of the fire broke.
"One of my friends who started the fundraising and donations, Tracey Demmery, was given $1000 in cheques in a matter of hours," Mrs Douglas said.
"The Coutts Cougars soccer team were playing a match and both teams donated money to us.
"And the fellow from the Coutts Tavern gave us a cheque for $500.
"We don't even know him," she said. The family now has most of the furniture they need.
"And they have plenty of clothes too.
"Lowes donated a set of school uniforms to each of the kids and the teachers at their schools have been brilliant. The kids are still coming home from school with donations from their classmates.
"The insurance company, Youi, has been brilliant, too," Mrs Douglas said.
GJ Gardner Homes Grafton has jumped on board, with Micah Middelbosch offering to build the family's new home at cost price.
"What can I say... it's been an overwhelming show of support... There are no words for it," Mrs Douglas said.
"We really can't thank people enough."
Mrs Douglas' decades of recipe collections were lost in the fire, so if anybody has any recipe books they would like to donate, please phone Nicole Delaforce on 0415 136 020.
The family is also calling for help from anyone who can assist in removing the remnants of the burnt-out house.