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David Crooke : A Local Hero falling through the cracks

David Crooke : A Local Hero

Before the bushfires hit and wiped David Crooke out, in November 2019, destroying his humble home, possessions and all his work gear (the tools of his trade, a carpentry / building business), he was already a well known 2nd generation local from Batemans Bay, NSW South Coast.

David was (and is) loved and admired for always being there for others, his work ethic and his huge heart.

During the bushfires he became a local hero, an absolute legend for his bravery in saving other people's homes. His generosity was acknowledged by many as he gave freely of his own time and limited resources. He went the extra mile to ensure people were looked after with donated goods and basic provisions.

David and his team of knowledgeable locals sought out those who couldn't make it to the relief centres and other points of help. People who like himself had lost everything. Many had no money, no ID, no fuel, no cars and no food.

They went out in still dangerous conditions to the back streets, the rural towns and communities and simply did what they could.

Now, in the aftermath, after months of giving David stands with almost nothing and without a clear path for his own recovery.

Not Eligible For Funding!

David was confident that funding for bushfire relief would be available to him and his small business when his attention returned from saving houses and helping others. Little did he expect to be treated as an absolute nothing, a nobody who was not eligible for any assistance whatsoever! David is not the only one in this devastating predicament. People who have lost everything and suffered greatly as a result of the brutal bushfires that hurtled through NSW & Victoria are left standing alone. They are people who just don't tick all the boxes.

The photo above is David's Ute and trailer, this is all he has left in the way of worldly goods. He is fortunate to have it, with this vehicle and the mere basics of fire fighting equipment David & his mates saved 7 homes this season.

David lost his home and possessions, he lost his work gear, tools, safety equipment, scaffolding and secure storage unit in Braidwood in November 2019. David has survived so far by using all his meagre savings and resources and through the generosity of friends, family and complete strangers, but for any proud independent person survival is not enough.

It is now February 2020 and David is trying to get back to work in his small Carpentry / Building business.

David has a crew of 6 others depending on him for their ongoing livelihood. They have the work, they don't have the gear.

Many of David's crew also had huge losses as a result of the bushfires, all lost their source of income and some are in the same boat as David - not deemed eligible for either government OR charity funding. 

How Can I Help?

No doubt you have already given generously to help people just like David, maybe you gave to many bushfire appeals. Maybe you were hoping that your donations would really make a difference in real people's lives?

Maybe you have heard of similar cases and the dilemma of funding being withheld, diverted or just not getting through to those that need it most.

If you do have the resources to be able to donate a little more then this is one cause that is worthy. David himself has never asked for help, he doesn't blow his own trumpet and believes there are people worse off than himself. If you can help then please don't hesitate as you will not just be offering a hand out but a hand up to 7 people and their families. Hardworking men who just want to get on and earn their way as they always have.

TOOL BUSINESSES  If you can help David and his crew with roofing harnesses and scaffolding, please let us know and we will provide a list of items that will ensure workplace safety so this crew can get going. That is the highest priority, a pro nail gun and a lockable UTE toolbox are also on the list. (All this equipment melted in the fires.) LIVABLE CARAVAN  Until David is back on his feet properly rent is a huge problem for him. Having a home base is important. David is able to utilise the land at Braidwood where his home once stood to set up camp.  SHIPPING CONTAINER Storage and security of workplace equipment is vital. David's previous container was burnt out. CASH DONATIONS Cash donations are most welcome and will be used well no matter how small. EFT (bank transfer) directly to: David A Crooke BSB: 062655 Account number: 10149722 NOTE: David will continue to seek the funding he is entitled to personally and for his business. This is not expected to cover the full loss of goods and lost wages or compensate for the trauma, so anything you can do to help in the interim will give him hope to continue on.

VIDEO: David Crooke's Story - NSW South Coast Bushfires 2019/2020 read more here