JENNY Jones knows all too well the emotional and financial damage that fires can do to a family.
Her own home was gutted in a house fire 13 years ago, and she has urged the Illawarra to support a benefit night for those who have lost everything in bushfires in the Blue Mountains.
The event will take place at Dapto Leagues Club on Friday.
Oak Flats resident Mrs Jones is helping organise the event with friend and former X Factor contestant Rohan Herring.
She has enlisted the support of community members and businesses to run a variety night.
All proceeds will go to Winmalee High School to be distributed among the 50 students and their families who lost their homes in the recent fires.
Mrs Jones said when her own home was gutted, her community at Campbelltown rallied to help her buy essentials for her young family.
"We lost everything - we came home and there was nothing left," she said.
"What these people are going to do now is have to itemise everything that was in their house.
"There's a lot of emotional and financial stress they have to go through.
"The reason behind all of this is we got helped by the community when we went through it.
"Our local community got together and raised $1000 for us so we had cash just to buy those essentials to get us through.
"That $1000 cash was a lifesaver . . . your insurance doesn't come through for a few months and you still have to find somewhere to live.
"The more cash and vouchers we can give the better."
Mrs Jones now runs Danze Gallery at Albion Park Rail.
She has been involved in fund-raisers for various causes, including the Queensland floods and the Cancer Council.
The benefit night will feature song and dance from a range of performers including Herring, Trent Bowater, Danny Benn and Rory Chatterton.
"It's great that all the community is coming together; all the singing and dance studios in the area working together for a common goal," Mrs Jones said.
"The people of the Illawarra are unbelievable. I don't think that would happen in many communities like it does in the Illawarra; just look at the Convoy and Relay for Life and how much the community helps there."
Doors open at 7pm and tickets, $25 each, are available by phoning Mrs Jones on 0423 241 774.