The Rotary Club of Gunnedah 2380 is on a mission to feed funds back into Gunnedah amid the drought.
The Gunnedah club has 1000 Why Leave Town? cards loaded with $200, which can be spent throughout the town, and $30,000 worth is ready to be sent out to the shire’s farmers.
Club member Lauren Robertson said Gunnedah businesses were suffering, with less locals spending money, causing jobs to be cut and revenue to be reduced, so the club saw a need to help farmers and the business community at the same time.
“It’s not just the farmers getting affected [by the drought] – the businesses are being affected too,” she said.
“Jobs are on the line.
“This is money coming into the town.”
Mrs Robertson said people had nominated their neighbours and farmers had also contacted the club asking for a card.
“It’s a guilt-free spend,” she said.
“It’s something to break the cycle of just staying at home on the farm.”
The finances have been sourced under the club’s Drought Relief Project, with more than $52,000 raised in July through the initiative of William Price and a team of helpers. More donations have come in since including funds from St Xavier’s School’s Dress like a Farmer Day, junior rugby and former locals.
“I’ve had people walk in here to the [Ewing Real Estate] office, ex-locals, during AgQuip and give me a couple of hundred dollars,” Mrs Robertson said.
The cards have a three-year expiry and can used at businesses, which have an EFTPOS machine, including petrol stations, dentists, vet clinics, eateries and hair salons.
The Why Leave Town? Gunnedah Gift Card is supported by the Gunnedah Chamber of Commerce and Whitehaven Coal.
Recipients of the cards can visit www.whyleavetown.com/gunnedah to view a list of eligible businesses. Recipients are encouraged to contact Why Leave Town? or Rotary 2380 via firstname.lastname@example.org if a business is not on the list.