BRENDA and Lance Noonan were hunkered down at Corryong in summer when bushfire threatened their Tintaldra home.
They had been evacuated to the Corryong Relief Centre, as had some of their neighbours.
Heartened by the generosity of community volunteers in town, the Noonans felt supported in their ordeal yet helpless in the face of the overarching summer bushfire crisis on their doorstep.
"We were standing in Corryong, watching it all happening around us," Mrs Noonan said.
The Noonans' landlord managed to save their home despite the overwhelming odds, but three of their neighbours lost everything.
"Our neighbours were at the evacuation centre and they lost their farms; it was very confronting," she said.
"Our hearts go out to everyone who suffered losses."
Having spent almost four weeks displaced from their home, the Noonans helped with the early emergency relief effort as a small way to express their gratitude.
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They returned to a house with no electricity and melted water pipes; yet beyond grateful that their home of more than four years was spared.
Corryong FoodShare Services began dropping food parcels to them.
"We felt very alone at the time and very grateful for the food and connection with people that's continued to this day," Mrs Noonan said.
"They'd drop a food box and stay for a cuppa every couple of weeks; we've been very blessed."
Since the coronavirus pandemic, the Noonans felt particularly grateful.
"Both of us don't keep very well and we've tried to self-isolate," she said.
"People like Carol Allen, Jan Hastings and Pat Spicer have been incredible; it's an amazing community."
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