A DRIVE for toiletries for drought-stricken farmers has received “thousands of donations” at drop-off points across the state, the organiser has said.
Doing It For Our Farmers was launched only a fortnight ago and has “gone absolutely manic”, according to Sue-Ellen Wilkin.
The first lot of donations – toothpaste, soap, hair care, cosmetics and more – are ready to be collected, or distributed through the Uniting Church’s rural chaplain and Aussie Helpers.
Mrs Wilkin said she and many other volunteers involved were from agricultural backgrounds and empathised with farmers’ plight.
She said her family had lived through a severe drought when she was in her teens.
“I know what families have to sacrifice to keep stock and crops alive, and the last thing they’re buying is hand cream and shampoo,” she said.
“I know the sacrifices my mother had to make, the work she put in to feed us.
“Everything that was a luxury had to go – food was the main necessity.”
‘Struggle keeping up’
Chaffey’s Mower Clinic is one drop-off point, and manager Tom Paddison said he was “trying to do what we can for people here at Gunnedah”.
“It’s quite dry out here and part of our business is a lot of agricultural stuff,” he said.
“We’re getting the farmers coming in – they might buy something then spend another half an hour just talking; getting stuff of their chest.
“People are having a struggle keeping up with everything.
“They’re not buying the stuff they would normally buy, to pay for feed.”
Edna Sheppeard, who was at Tamworth City Uniting Church this morning sorting out the items, said she was also from a farming family.
“My father had mainly sheep and cattle at Rob Roy near Inverell,” she said.
She said that, for her, the drive was about “giving to people in need, showing God’s love and care for everybody”.
The volunteers said they could especially do with more men’s items.
- The Doing It For Our Farmers drive continues, with drop-off points across the region and beyond: