Doing it for farmers: Drop-off centre opens for drought donations

DROUGHT SUPPORT: Hannah and Chris Besgrove have set up a collection point for the Doing it for Our Farmers drought relief program. Photo: CARLA FREEDMAN

DROUGHT SUPPORT: Hannah and Chris Besgrove have set up a collection point for the Doing it for Our Farmers drought relief program. Photo: CARLA FREEDMAN

A drop-off centre for donations to help drought-affected farmers and their families has opened at Orange Indoor Tennis Centre.

Tennis centre owners Hannah and Chris Besgrove are encouraging people to donate items such as toiletries, socks, tissues, toilet paper, nappies, non-perishable food, and cleaning products. 

Mrs Besgrove started the collection point on Friday as part of the Doing it for our Farmers campaign, an online initiative two Tamworth women, Sue-Ellen Wilkin and Renae Madams are running through Facebook.

Mrs Wilkin said she started doing it for our farmers to initially help farmers in her area and wasn’t expecting the movement to get so big since it began about two weeks ago.

She said when things get tough for farmers household items are the first to be sacrificed and she’s urging people to donated more men’s items such as razors, socks, deodorant and shaving cream.

Having grown up on the land she said she’s seen what drought can do both financially and mentally and she wants to show farmers that they have support.

Although the campaign started with a Tamworth focus, the Doing int for our Farmers page now has more than 3350 members from across NSW and along with Orange, Bathurst, Dubbo and Canowindra, drop-off points have been set up across the state including Sydney.

Mrs Desgrove has branched off from the original Facebook page and said items that are donated to her centre will be distributed to farmers in the Orange area and surrounds.

“We have bins at the tennis centre for the people to drop their donations,” Mrs Desgrove said.

“We have a few [donations] there already.

“If in two weeks I get a lot then I will start distributing them.”

Mrs Besgrove said after talking to Mrs Wilkin about it she has started talking to more people in the Orange area about determining who needs help and how to distribute items.

She said she wanted to help after seeing the effect of the drought on the news and how farmers need assistance.

“This is a time that we have to show our farmers that we support them,” she said.

It is the second time she has used the tennis centre as a drop-off point for donated items.

“I’m originally from the Philippines before I did similar to this when Typhoon Haiyan hit my home town [in 2013] I think we sent around 15 boxes,” she said. 

People can donate items at Orange Indoor Tennis during its opening hours from 9am to 8pm Monday to Wednesday, 9am to 5pm Thursday and Saturday or to donate on a Friday or Sunday phone 0447 903 832 to find out opening times.

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