Lesley Blake was in charge of a donations centre during the 2012 floods.
Lesley Blake was in charge of a donations centre during the 2012 floods. Rebecca George

Roma remembers the devastating 2012 floods

ROMA-born Lesley Blake will never forget the generosity of stranger she saw in February 2012.

With the fourth anniversary of the 2012 Roma floods being remembered this week, Ms Blake was one of the hundreds of locals desperate to help people at their lowest ebb.

She set up a donations centre, which helped flood victims get their hands on basic necessities like food, clean clothes, and toiletries.

Ms Blake said the only reason she started the centre, which was handled from an old warehouse owned by Tony Knight, was because she was turned away from other places.

“I just started up a donation centre because I’d noticed the people in need all over Facebook and people wanted to donate things but didn’t know where to go,” she said.

“I can’t remember the man’s name but I remember his face when he said they were not up to that stage of accepting donations.”

Within hours, Ms Blake said she was inundated with donations from people across Queensland.

“The donations being sent in were huge,” she said.

“From all over the place it was coming, because we were helping Mitchell too.

“Bunnings in Toowoomba donated pallets filled with tubs.

“Some church group came from out of the blue with tins of food and another came up with mops and buckets.

“It gives you basic human needs once again.”

Several Roma businesses donated plenty of stock, such as IGA who filled Ms Blake’s car up three times over with food.

But she reserved the biggest thanks to David Whiley from Wild Desert, who donated his trucks and workers to help transport donations of food and clothing to Mitchell.

“It was huge – it would’ve been worth thousands of dollars in service,” she said.

Ms Blake also paid tribute to Global Care for taking over the Donations Centre from her.


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