Eagle Vale mum's bright idea to support local firies

One of the t-shirt designed by Tayla and Chris Barnett to support Australian Firefighters. Pictures: Supplied
One of the t-shirt designed by Tayla and Chris Barnett to support Australian Firefighters. Pictures: Supplied

Eagle Vale's Tayla Barnett spent weeks watching her husband Chris walk out the door not knowing if he would be coming home.

Mr Barnett is a dedicated volunteer with Catherine Field Rural Fire Service (RFS) and over the past few months he spent a lot of his time fighting the bushfires which threatened Macarthur.

Mrs Barnett didn't want to just sit back and worry so she came up with a way to support him and fellow firefighters while keeping herself busy.

"When I was pregnant I got really sick and had to leave work early but I didn't want to sit around at home doing nothing so I started a small clothing business," she said.

"My husband is in the RFS and when the fires first kicked off we had just had our son and every time he walked out the door I didn't know if he would be coming home.

"I wanted to do something to support him and the other local firefighters who were out there every day saving people's lives.

"So I sat down with him and we sorted out some designs for t-shirts or baby onesies that could be sold to support firefighters."

All proceeds from sales of the specially designed Ooh BeBe clothing are used to support local brigades.

Mrs Barnett said she never expected the idea to catch on so quickly.

"It has just taken off - we've even had shirts being sent to America," she said.

"I've had people message me on Facebook saying that their kids have been watching everything happening across the country and they want to do something and support the firefighters somehow.

"For kids it's good to have that visual thing so that they can see it and say 'that's where my money went, and I know my money went to help out the firefighters'.

"There wasn't anything like this when I started doing it and now there are a lot of people out there doing it and it is so great to see so many people doing what they can to support the firies."

Mrs Barnett said her husband had been a member of the Catherine Fields brigade since he left the armed forces in 2017.

"These guys are not getting paid for what they do, they do it off their own backs," she said.

"Chris goes to work and then comes home and he might get a call out so that's time that he doesn't get to spend with his 12-week-old son.

"People are seeing how heroic these guys are and not everyone is equipped to go out there and fight fires but people are giving them support in any way they can."

The shirts and onesies are $20 in children's and adult sizes.

"Once we reach $250 we send the money to different brigade and send the receipt back to the buyers so they know exactly where their money is going," she said.

"People can pick the shirts up from me in Eagle Vale or it costs $9 in postage but the rest of the money is donated to the RFS."

To order a shirt visit: facebook.com/oohbebecreations/ or email: oohbebecreations@gmail.com.