LEETON shire resident Garry Lanham has called on residents to dig deep to help the people of Fiji following last weekend’s devastating cyclone.
Cyclone Winston hit late on Saturday, with winds of up to 330 kilometres an hour.
It destroyed thousands of homes, with the death toll currently sitting at 29.
Villages were cut off and some are still waiting for help in the wake of the cyclone.
Mr Lanham decided straight away there had to be something that Leeton shire residents could do to help.
“Pretty well as soon as it happened, I thought ‘we have to do something’,” he said.
“I saw how bad it was and knew that we had to help in whatever way we can.
“What we are looking for is cash donations mostly.
“People have been ringing up and saying they can donate clothes and blankets and that sort of thing.
“I think logistically it would be too hard and too expensive to get all of that stuff there though.
“Money will be the best way to help.”
Mr Lanham will travel to Fiji on March 19 where he will deliver the donations where they are needed most.
He has been to Fiji before and made many friends and connections along the way.
The idea will be to meet with those on the ground to determine where the funds are needed the most.
“Leeton also obviously has a strong connection to Fiji, with many Fijians living here in town,” Mr Lanham said.
“I’ll be meeting with them to talk about the fund-raising and hearing from them through their connections where the money will make a difference.
“We figured this way the money will be going straight to those that need help.
“It’s not going to get tied up in any bureaucracy.
“It’s absolutely devastating to see what has happened over there.
“Fijians are just the most friendliest people as well, so I know they will definitely appreciate whatever we can do here in Leeton.”
Mr Lanham is accepting donations at Lanhams of Leeton, with money tins also available at Lanhams Jewellers and The Irrigator.
On Saturday young Leeton shire resident Hannah McDowell will be busking in Jarrah Mall from 10am to 10.45am to also raise money for the cause.