IT'S been almost two years since regional charity Aussie Helpers set up a base in Gunnedah, but the group is busier than ever helping local farmers in need.
The effects of the bushfire season, coronavirus crisis and ongoing drought have caused many farmers to still be doing it tough.
Aussie Helpers Gunnedah co-ordinator Katie O'Brien said while the region had enjoyed recent rain, many farmers were still "feeling the pinch".
"I love this area and to watch it go from one extreme to the other has been incredible to see," Ms O'Brien told the Leader.
"However, it does not rain money and there are plenty of people who are still needing a hand.
"It's not just with fodder assistance or with household assistance, it's often just knowing somebody is there, cares and understands.
"Aussie Helpers is celebrating it's 18th birthday this year and we will be continuing to do what we do best, which is help those rural families in need."
Ms O'Brien urged people to shop local because "it's not just farmers that have suffered" from the drought.
"It's so important to shop local because farmers rely on local businesses and local businesses rely on farmers," she said.
"In my opinion, it is a bit of a vicious cycle and supporting local is everything.
"People from all walks of life are still doing it tough and shopping local is key to helping communities survive during this time of drought, coronavirus and bushfires."
Aussie Helpers CEO Tash Kocks echoed Ms O'Brien' sentiments, saying the COVID-19 pandemic had hit meat producers hard.
"Following a savage bushfire season and years of drought, the coronavirus pandemic is another blow to farmers who have been forced to drop meat prices to keep their farms afloat and feed remaining stock," Ms Kocks said.
"Just three months ago, Australia was in the midst of a cattle crisis with many farming families faced with the reality of losing their livelihoods and their land."
Ms O'Brien said Aussie Helpers couldn't operate without "the power of the people" and encouraged anyone interested to volunteer or to donate goods.
"Aussie Helpers is solely based on volunteers and donations," she said.
"Without them we wouldn't be able to operate.
"Drought is still very much a reality for a lot of people and hopefully as things return to normal we will see more donations come in.
"In the meantime, it's important for people to remember we're still here and always willing to give a hand where it's needed."