Regional Victoria has been hit hard – first by the lockdowns, then by last week’s severe storms, wind and rain. While we can’t drive out with an empty esky just yet, there are ways we can support affected businesses and communities from afar.
In an Instagram call-out, we asked how we could help support them – from afar – while the 25-kilometre radius remains in place.
Animal sanctuary Edgar’s Mission, which brought joy to thousands of Aussies during last year’s lockdowns with its live feeds of cows, lambs and chooks, was badly impacted. Its Instagram describes the scenes: "Fences were downed, hundred-year-old gum trees were felled, and roofs and doors ripped off." Animal shelters have also been damaged. You can buy from the online shop or donate direct.
Camp Kulning is a dreamy forest retreat just outside Kyneton, known for its repurposed 1926 tram called Jean Claude Van Tram. But unfortunately the severe winds caused a tree to fall through and destroy him. You can help get Van Tram back up and running with a Go Fund Me donation. Donations can be used as credit towards a booking at Camp Kulning when it reopens, and contributors will go into a draw to win a stay at the retreat.
Healesville’s Freedom shouted toasties and hot drinks for locals affected by the storms. If you’re too far away to drive in for a coffee, you can still purchase a fiddle leaf fig, monstera, snow queen or philodendron from its online plant shop. Also in Healesville, independent bookstore Verso is still selling and shipping books through its website.
Got a friend in Healesville, Badger Creek, Chum Creek, Coldstream, Dixons Creek, Gruyere, Tarrawarra or Yarra Glen? Send them a bouquet from Midnight Flowers and Sharps and help save stock that might otherwise go to waste.
Gippsland Jersey was flooded and without power for more than 24 hours. Support the company directly by buying cultured butter, milk, sour cream and pouring cream through Click for Vic.
Prom Coast Ice Cream & Sorbet lost stock because it had no power for three days. While you can’t buy direct, there’s a directory of stockists here.
Trentham was also severely impacted, with power outages, water safety concerns and no phone coverage for a time. The Green Store's online shop stocks sustainable lifestyle products such as plastic-free shampoo bars, reusable water bottles, skincare, essential oils and face masks.
Jodee Creations in Mount Evelyn still hasn’t reopened its retail store, but you can buy Australian-made, ethical and nature-inspired jewellery, gifts, artwork and prints online. And in nearby Mount Dandenong, Red Heart Designs is still posting yarn; fabric; patterns; and knitting, sewing or quilting tools.