February-March 2022 brought some of the worst flooding in Australia's history. Massive areas of NSW and Queensland vanished underwater. Some of them haven't emerged yet, and there's more rain coming.
It's shit, and it hurts, and it's going to hurt for a while. We'll be hearing more about that in the next few months because it's important we don't forget about our people and the communities doing it tough. For now, let's talk about the good work Tough Guy Book Club has already done in one of the towns hardest hit - Lismore, NSW.
Our fundraiser page went up on March 1st and raised a total of $17,501 from goons all over the world. While those who live a long way away couldn't do much except turn out their pockets, others dropped everything and hit the Pacific Motorway. They were our boots on the ground with money to spend. So, what did they buy?
Well, goons gotta eat. Start with car and trailer loads of non-perishable food - cans of soup, tuna, spaghetti, rice, fruit cups, long life milk, Up 'n Go. Next people need to take care of themselves - they need toothbrushes, ibuprofen and paracetamol, disinfectant wipes and rubbing alcohol for all those cuts and scrapes that don't mix with floodwater. Big ticket items and solar batteries can be shared around so people can have power. And for all the million other little essentials we can't even think of, a $500 prepaid VISA means you can fill up with petrol and get to shops in the next town over.
Now, time to clean up this mess. For that you need cleaning brushes, shoulder sprayers for dousing mould, and a mountain of sponges and scrubbers and scourers. When the sun isn't shining and you need to dry clothes and furniture and soggy books, big portable air-mover fans come in handy. We even bought a bunch of plastic dish drying racks because it turns out they're perfect for holding vinyl records after they've been carefully washed off with soap. Who knew?
You can't buy back what's lost or irreplaceable... but when it comes to music, we can do the next best thing. Eight UE Boom bluetooth speakers mean that even when your beloved home sound systems are fried, you can still pump some fucking Slayer while you pick through debris.
Look, we're not the SES. We don't wear hi-viz or pull people from rivers - although the people who do that will need our support too. All we can do is talk and listen and remind people they're not alone. So we bought a brand new Jumbuck BBQ, gas, cases of beer, snags and salad, and fed all the goons and their families who had been working for days without rest. We don't fly helicopters but we can damn sure cook you a sausage when you land.
This is a long way from over, so we'll be bringing you more stories from the goons who came to help, and some locals who witnessed the devastation firsthand. When they're ready, we'll be here.
Take care. Stay dry.