After battling cancer and struggling with finances for the past year, the severe flooding in Lisa Saffery's house was the last straw.
With no money to pay for repairs, the local woman found her family become the first to benefit from Wagga's newly established handyman community group.
Wagga couple Lisa Saffery and Sarah Williams’ house will be the first property to be repaired by the helpful hands of Wagga Community Blitz, a newly established team of local tradespeople volunteering their skills to those in need.
After the town’s severe storms, the women’s Kooringal house was devastated by flooding, leaving extreme damage worth thousands of dollars.
Ms Williams was diagnosed with advanced cancer in 2014 and forced to quit her job, while Ms Saffery dropped back to part-time work so as to care for the couple’s three young children.
Ms Saffery said the flood damage was so extensive there was no way for them to pay for the necessary repairs.
“Our bedroom turned into a puddle and we had a creek running from the backyard to the front garden right through the middle of the house,” she said.
“We’re already under a great deal of financial strain, so there's no way we can pay for these repairs."
The women’s story gained the attention of the Wagga Community Blitz team, who volunteered their time to repair the damage not covered by insurance.
Community Blitz co-founder Dane Smith has gathered local labourers and students from the Bidgee school to help with the work and hoped to have it complete within four days.
As well as replacing floorboards, painting and plastering, the team will undertake weeding and will build the children outdoor play area.
Mr Smith said the initial idea for the group stemmed from his desire to give back to the community.
"Instead of just donating money I wanted those of us with skills to donate our time and labour," he said. "It's easy to forget there are people who need help and we're making sure these people can live the lives they deserve."
Ms Saffery said she was overwhelmed with the offer of support.
"I'm absolutely speechless,” she said. “I feel so grateful and what they're going to do for us, and what they're going to do for other people, is absolutely incredible,” she said.
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