On Anzac Day, a new community initiative honoured Illawarra residents who have served their country.
The inaugural 'Anzac Day Illawarra Digger Drop Off' took place on Saturday.
A team of about 300 volunteers delivered 1050 personalised 'respect packages' to those throughout the region who have served (or their families), in conflicts ranging from World War II to Afghanistan and Iraq.
The hampers contained local light beers or a shandy, a packet of Tim Tams and Anzac biscuits, two rolls of toilet paper, a freshly cooked lunch, dessert and some rosemary.
They also featured a 'thank you' letter , and in many cases a hand-written Anzac message from Illawarra children.
The initiative was launched by East Corrimal community advocate Leigh Stewart, who wished to acknowledge those who had served, but who couldn't attend public Anzac Day events this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He said the project only started less than a week prior. However, by Friday night a large group of volunteers started making the hampers before the Saturday 6.30am distribution time.
Mr Stewart said the various Illawarra RSL Sub-Branches helped provide names and contact details of veterans who could be included.
Organisers also sought the support of Vietnam Veterans' Association, Legacy and other community organisations.
Mr Stewart said a series of Illawarra businesses had supported the initiative by providing various items - either donated or heavily discounted - such as meals, treats and beverages.
Members of the public could donate, or purchase a respect package for someone who has served.
The packages were delivered to recipients' homes on Anzac Day in a "careful" manner that respected social distancing.
Mr Stewart, whose late father David served in Borneo during World War II, said Anzac Day had long been an important occasion for him and his family.
"The emotion from both the giver and receivers was something to behold and will stick with many of us for many years," he said.
Mr Stewart said organisers "hoped they wouldn't have to do it again at the level that we did".
"But it's obvious there is still a strong need to respect and say 'thank you' to those who can't get out on Anzac Day, even if COVID-19 restrictions were lifted," he said.
Corrimal RSL Sub-Branch president Morrie Gallina said as a result of Saturday's efforts, "we as a sub-branch have ticked so many boxes under 'veterans welfare'."
"It is a privilege and honour to be a part of the team," he said.