A former Wagga woman is looking to ensure every Riverina student has what they need to return to school after bushfires ravaged the region this summer.
Since launching the 'Books For The Bush' campaign two weeks ago, founder Chloe Harpley has been overwhelmed with support from all over the nation and the world.
"It's surprising to see how it's resonated with people," the 22-year-old student said.
Partnering with schools, families and businesses in Deniliquin, Batlow, Tumbarumba and Wagga, Ms Harpley has packed hundreds of school supplies into bags ready for the first day of term to arrive on January 28.
Her original online post appealing for support has been shared far and wide, picked up by people in remote parts of Australia, as well as in China and Alaska.
"A couple in China actually know a student at ANU so they bought a whole lot of supplies from Officeworks for us to pick up," Ms Harpley said.
On Wednesday, the first delivery of over 90 supply packs was made to Tumbarumba High School when Ms Harpley's mother and brother's housemate drove a packed SUV from Wagga to the fire-affected area.
An additional delivery of 55 backpacks, lunchboxes and drink bottles will be taken to Batlow and Batemans Bay this weekend.
"This is actually the exciting bit of it all now when we get to take it all down to the schools," Ms Harpley said.
But while the name of the campaign - Books for the Bush - was apt for the appeal's original needs, the ambition has now evolved beyond just basic school supplies.
"It's amazing, I could open a stationery store with everything I've been given," Ms Harpley said.
"We're pushing for school uniforms and shoes to get students back to school.
"We're trying to get as much money and prepaid VISA vouchers as possible so that people can spend them in local businesses."
The delivery comes after the NSW government announced it is working to restore up to 178 schools around the state that have been damaged by fires.
The Daily Advertiser contacted the NSW Department of Education to find out if any local schools sustained damage that may prevent students' return. But an answer was not given.
In its absence, Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell confirmed the repair bill across the state would approximate $20 million.
"Communities in both Northern and Southern NSW have experienced an absolutely harrowing bushfire season, impacting many of our local schools," Ms Mitchell said.
"We have seen school damage ranging from critical in the communities of Bobin and Wytaliba, to lost fences, burnt outdoor play equipment and contamination from ash and fire retardant across other parts of the State."
"We know schools are at the heart of communities and will play an important role in the recovery from these fires."
"It's crucial for students to be reconnected with friends, share stories and return to their school routine after what has been a traumatic time."
"Thanks to the efforts of department staff, emergency services, RFS and local tradies we expect all schools to be open for the first day of term."
In the absence of any additional information on which Riverina schools have been affected by the fires, Ms Harpley has vowed to carry on and prepare as though every student were returning next week.
She began the Books for the Bush initiative as a way of processing her own grief after hearing fire stories from friends and family in the Riverina.
"I'm from the Riverina, and watching the horror unfolding online, I was left feeling so disempowered," she said.
"I couldn't find another [charity or organisation] that was doing something like this, so I decided to do it myself."
The initiative, she said, also presented a place for affirmative action in her personal fight for climate change acknowledgement.
"I've been doing a lot of environmental activism and I'm concerned with how climate change is exacerbating these weather events," Ms Harpley said.
"Education is key to building resilience in communities, I cannot imagine what they're going through. Both the teachers as well, they've been through so much and then they have to stand up and teach 30 traumatised children.
"I just want to take some of the stress off families who have experienced this by making sure they have what they need to start their first day of school."