ST Vincent de Paul now has another $25,000 to help farming families cover the essentials after a donation from staff at Cadia Valley Operations.
CVO social responsibility manager Nedra Burns presented the cash to Vinnies’ Bathurst central council executive officer, Bruce Buchanan, in Orange on Monday.
Ms Burns said the idea came from staff to fundraise – CVO went to its community consultative committee for guidance on which cause to support.
“The workforce asked us what they could do to help local landholders, particularly going through the drought conditions we’re going through at the moment,” she said.
“There are some landholders on that committee and they advised us that the best way to help the farming community was to provide funding to a local charity like St Vincent de Paul so that they could distribute that funding to farmers in vouchers to pay for the general necessities of life – their grocery bills and their utility bills.”
“There’s a great rapport between the workforce and the farming community and many of them have very strong ties, if not through direct family relationships but through the people they interact with on a regular basis.Nedra Burns
Employees raised about $10,000 through barbecues and Newscrest Mining’s Melbourne office added to the total before CVO matched the effort dollar for dollar.
“We like barbecues,” Ms Burns said with a laugh.
“There’s a great rapport between the workforce and the farming community and many of them have very strong ties, if not through direct family relationships but through the people they interact with on a regular basis.
“Both primary industries go through difficult cycles – we understand their business, they understand ours and we’re very supportive.”
Mr Buchanan said he was blown away by the donation.
“There’s actually a number of other charities looking after the farm itself so what St Vincent de Paul is focusing on is the family and making sure there’s food on the table, their electricity is paid, their telephones bills are paid, water for the house, school fees [so] kids aren’t missing out on excursions and things like that,” he said.
Mr Buchanan said all calls to Vinnies were confidential on 6362 2565.
Vinnies has already donated $400,000 across the state and drought officers had visited more than 600 families across between Bathurst and Wilcannia.
The charity’s leaders also met on Monday to discuss drought planning for the next year.
“Obviously we’ve had a little bit of rain and that’s been fantastic, but there have been no crops and there are a lot of people who’ve have to sell their stock – they might only have breeding stock left and some of the those people have also had to sell their breeding stock so this drought is not going to be over for quite a long time yet,” Mr Buchanan said.
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