Providing tools for fire-affected blokes across South Australia

Willing helpers: Milan Prochazka, Chris and Marj Rowley and Malcolm Haythorpe sort through a small number of the many donated tools in Port Elliot.
Willing helpers: Milan Prochazka, Chris and Marj Rowley and Malcolm Haythorpe sort through a small number of the many donated tools in Port Elliot.

A community effort to donate tools for blokes in fire affected regions across the state has gone into overdrive, with volunteers being overwhelmed with the generosity of individuals, groups and businesses.

Tools for Blokes is a movement that was initially conceived by Marj and Chris Rowley five years ago, following the Sampson Flat fires. Over three months, the couple managed to collect thousands of dollars of tools and take them to men in need, who had lost sheds, equipment and their livelihoods.

"I felt that men suffer very differently and especially grieve over their tools," said Marj.

"They need the capacity to be able to do things and fix things; and simply providing tools so men can carry on with the job and rebuild their lives, can support mental health immensely."

Since the Adelaide Hills fires began, Marj, Chris and a number of volunteers with the help of the Historic Motor Vehicle Club of the Fleurieu Peninsula have been busy collecting and providing tools for blokes in need once more.

Marj estimates that on average, for every one house destroyed, three sheds - which often contain tools and other precious items passed down through generations - are also lost.

"We now have a huge need for tools for Kangaroo Island and the south east, as well as the Hills," she said.

"With K.I. being our close neighbours, we are putting a lot of energy into getting tools sent over there for the blokes, and sheilas who need them most.

"To be able to provide hope and support is a wonderful thing, and the community has so far been so generous in supporting the cause."

A large number of tools were sent over to K.I. last weekend, with Marj liaising with the Island Care Inc. group, to ensure tools are provided to those most in need. She estimates so far, over ten thousand dollars of tools have been donated and sorted.

To get involved or to donate tools visit Tools for Blokes on Facebook, email: toolsforblokes@gmail.com or call: 0414 408 196