FOR Illawarra league stalwart Jimmy Storer, home will always be where the heart is - in his case the tiny South Coast town of Mogo.
A proud Yuin man, Storer's ties to the town and region run deep, but he's been forced to watch on from afar as the horrific bushfires that have gripped the South Coast left the heritage town in ruins on New Years' Day.
It's been a scary time, with Storer only re-establishing contact with some family members on Tuesday with power down and resources stretched to the limit.
"I've only just got in contact with a lot of family members because the power's been down, there was no service or reception," Storer said.
"My family's all Yuin people from the South Coast and Mogo's always been home for us. My mother grew up there, my grandfather built most of the houses in Mogo when they were still on a dirt floor.
"He got water supply there back in the Gough Whitlan days. It's always been my home. My aunties' houses all got destroyed in the fires, I've spoken to my cousins and they've been running out of food, water, everything.
"Mogo was a bit out of the way, there were evacuation centres at Bateman's Bay and Moruya, but not too much stuff got out that way. It's been hard time because I just couldn't do anything."
That'll change dramatically this week, with the Fijian International drawing on his ties to the Illawarra-South Coast rugby league community, with the Helensburgh, Thirroul, Port Kembla and Shellhourbour footy clubs all setting up collection points to gather food, tools and other supplies to bring relief to the town.
Collection points, will be set-up on Saturday at Rex Jackson Oval, Thirroul Bowling Club, Noel Mulligan Oval Port Kembla and Ron Costello Oval at Shellharbour from 9am-3pm. It will then be trucked down to Mogo where the long recovery effort begins.
"Once we've collected it all we're going to bring it Port Kembla, my best mate Peter Reilly from Cadifern Civil is supplying us with however many trucks we need," Storer said.
"We'll load it all up and go straight down to Mogo. The church is still standing so we'll load all the supplies there and we're setting up at what we call the MCG - the Mogo Cricket Ground.
"There's some caravans there so we're going to set up a big base there, go around and assess the damage, work out what we need and then take the next step.
"Non-perishable foods are great, any tools rakes, shovels and things to start this clean-up will be big help, camping equipment's great, little gas stoves and those sorts of things because we're going to be without power down there.
"It could be a month or two months, we're yet to determine how long we'll be out of power for. We've had a generator donated and anything like that will help."
Storer, who has a long history of drawing on rugby league for community efforts, says he never fails to be moved by the support of league people.
"I've had so many people willing to help, it deadset gives you goosebumps," Storer said.
"Having the rugby league community being a part of that is such a special thing. We're bashing each other week to week but, when it comes to times like this, we bind together."