Shepparton’s Afghan community raises $11 500 for bushfires

By Ilias Bakalla

Shepparton's Afghan community has donated $11 500 and pledged 45 volunteers to the Red Cross bushfire response.

A small crowd gathered at the council office on Thursday to witness Goulburn Valley Afghan Community president Shoukat Rafiee present the cheque and volunteer contact details to Betty D'Amore and Judi Hanlon of the Red Cross.

Mr Rafiee said he asked families in the Afghan community to donate $100.

He said in just 24 hours there was an overwhelming response, with 115 families donating.

“We have to stand with each other in these times while others are suffering,” he said.

Ms D'Amore said she was overcome with emotion at the generosity of the community.

“What you've done is amazing, it is heart-warming for you to do this for our workers,” she said.

“Thank you for the list (of names) — we will look to see how you can help out in other ways.”

Mayor Seema Abdullah also spoke at the presentation, praising the community's efforts.

“You should all be proud of your efforts,” she said.

“It shows the beauty of the Greater Shepparton community, that we are all in this together even during the challenging times."