Businesses all across Orange have leapt head-first into the massive community effort to help farmers cope with drought conditions across the state.
On Saturday Sierra Leone Hair and Beauty threw open its doors and gave hairdresser Rebecca Childs free rein in running the shop, donating all money raised from people getting haircuts in the hope of raising $2000 for drought relief.
Ms Childs, who runs her own hair business called ‘Hair at Home’, said the idea started as just a “silly idea” a week ago, but since then caught steam.
“I started to think, I have a trade, a skill I can use, to make money for the farmers and I thought if I could donate my time to do haircuts where 100 per cent of funds go to the farmers, I thought it would be really appealing to people,” she said.
And appealing it has been – Ms Childs have received messages encouraging her and thanking her for helping.
There were also 100 cupcakes on sale for $5 each and a raffle with over 50 Orange businesses jumping on-board to donate prizes including a $200 photoshoot and vouchers for everything from dinner to jewellery to car washes.
Ms Childs pounded pavement to pop in to shops and businesses through the city, many of whom she’d had no connection with beforehand, and was emotional talking about how much their support has meant.
“There have been tears,” she said.
“I went in [to businesses] and they’ve been so supportive, they’ve been fantastic.”
Other businesses, school and community groups from around town are jumping onboard to help drought relief as well.
Omar Coffee owner Matt Swiatkiwsky has pledged two dollar from every coffee sold on Friday will be given to a drought relief charity.
He hasn’t settled on which charity or how the money has been used just yet, but will make the decision some time next week depending on what is needed by farmers.
“The last couple of weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about it, I think it’s a good, easy way for people to donate while getting something back for it.”
While Mr Swiatkiwsky hasn’t had a personal connection to the drought, he said it’s something everyone was impacted by in regional areas.
“It’s pretty horrendous out there. Ninety-nine per cent of the state is in drought so I don’t know what to say about it,” he said.
Omar is open from 7am to 2pm, and Mr Swiatkiwsky said a donation box would be out the front of the cafe next week.
On Facebook East Orange passed the challenge ono to Bletchington Public School to hold their own fundraiser, with Bletchington replying “challenge accepted”.
AFL Central West declared Saturday’s round to be a drought relief round, and Orange District Football Association said they would have an upcoming round of the soccer competition to support local farmers.
If you know of any drought-related events that have happened across Orange, get in contact on the Central Western Daily Facebook page or email email@example.com.