Red Cross volunteers give extra comfort to flood victims

FOR longer than he can remember, Don Boyd has been helping Mother Nature's innocent victims.

In 2011 he hopped between south-west Queensland and the state's capital city to tend to flood victims in their most vulnerable time of need as they sheltered in evacuation centres with only the clothes on their back.

The 65-year-old revisited these familiar scenes last week in Bundaberg where he and a team of Red Cross volunteers provided that little bit of comfort to emotional residents in the flood-stricken city.

Mr Boyd explained how the hundreds of residents sheltered in evaluation centres were burdened by the unknown.

"The majority of them were not clear on the position of their home," he said.

"So when they left their home for the most part, their home was intact, and they were obviously keen to go back and visit their home address to inspect the property they left.

"They did not have knowledge of what condition it might be in.

"For some people the unknown causes the emotion and some of them are challenged in dealing with that."

Mr Boyd travelled to Bundaberg from his Cairns home last Tuesday and took on the role of evacuation centre manager at the Oakwood State School.

"First of all I gave (evacuees) a place of shelter; I gave them a place where they were able to obtain food," he said.

"We had the opportunity to maybe make put them in contact with some of the family who they were unclear of where they were. All of those things made a good positive difference to their stay."

Mr Boyd has been one of thousands of volunteers to visit Bundaberg since ex-cyclone Oswald unleashed its fury late last month.

May volunteers were linked to agencies, like the Red Cross, while others turned up to help on their own accord.

Regardless of their allegiance, Premier Campbell Newman paid the state's heartfelt thanks when he visited the Red Cross headquarters in Brisbane on Monday.

"Right across the state there has been an enormous effort from organisations like the Red Cross volunteer organisation that have just done so much," he said.

"I applaud all their work today..."

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