OUR SAY: Let’s dig deep for our drought-stricken neighbours in need

HERE TO HELP: Aussie Helpers co-founder Brian Egan and volunteer Krystal Haycock. Photo: FAYE WHEELER
HERE TO HELP: Aussie Helpers co-founder Brian Egan and volunteer Krystal Haycock. Photo: FAYE WHEELER

At a time when Orange is quickly transforming itself into a cosmopolitan location with many of the big-city amenities and attractions we take for granted, it’s easy to feel as though what’s happening to farmers doesn’t impact us.

In fact it’s easy to think we’re immune to many of the things our farmers are facing, but we’re not.

We rely on our primary producers to ensure we have the ability to choose to eat flavorsome Australian produce.

That’s why over the coming days and weeks you will see many of us step forward and offer our support to those in need.

Farmer support group Aussie Helpers has allocated around $200,000 to help kick-start its drought relief efforts in the Central West.

Having been operating since 2002 the charity has set up a temporary base in Dubbo and from there it will reach out to farmers battling to make ends meet and keep their stock alive and crops going.

It’s not only the farmers’ physical needs which need to be met, there’s much more to tackling a drought than that.

Landowners and farmers’ psychological well being is also being tended to thanks to its virtual psychologist program.

Let’s all get behind this fantastic initiative and remind those on the land that they’re not alone.

Of course it’s not only the Central West that’s in need of help.

Aussie Helpers co-founder Brian Egan said the group is focusing on the area from Tamworth to Canberra.

Its resources – all obtained through private donations – will no doubt need topping up.

According to Mr Egan even those who don’t need as much financial help as others still appreciate being handed a box of groceries, a women’s pamper pack or simply a friendly face to share a cup of tea with.

For others a fuel voucher can make a big difference to their ability to cope.

According to Mr Egan the public has already generously donated to the cause giving between $2 million and $3 million a year to keep Aussie Helpers afloat.

However as Mr Egan said there’s lots of people needing hugs and shedding tears.

Many have nowhere else to go.

Aussie Helpers aims to support farmers and keep their breeding stock alive “so they can have something to carry on with, later on when it does rain”, according to Mr Egan.

Let’s all get behind this fantastic initiative and remind those on the land that they’re not alone.

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