Where there is a will, there is a way – to help local farmers through the drought.
Dilly Drought Drive, a local fundraising group that is collecting money to buy hay and water for farmers in Wollondilly, has several initiatives that residents can support.
Locals can donate money through the Lions Club bank account, drop coins in donation tins in local shops, provide groceries to make hampers or recycle cans and donate the return.
Dilly Drought Drive coordinator Sharon Robertson has thanked everyone for their continued outpouring of support and money.
“One hundred per cent of what is being donated goes to local farmers,” she said.
“Even if you can’t spare a lot of money, if you set up a recurring donation of $5 per week for 10 weeks, that will help so much.
“And if 100 people do that we will have $5000.
“Most people wouldn’t notice if $5 was gone every week but it will make a big difference to our farmers, especially when the outlook for rain is so bad.”
Ms Robertson said significant rain was not predicted to fall in Wollondilly until February 2019.
“Farmers have been hit so hard and so fast by this drought,” she said.
Wollondilly, like many parts of Australia, is experiencing one of the worst droughts in recent memory with 99.3 per cent of NSW either in drought, almost in drought, or heading towards drought.
Once fertile paddocks have turned to dust, water resources are dry or drying up and fodder supplies are critically low.
Farmers have been forced to buy feed from interstate because local supplies have run dry – and they are paying exorbitant freight costs to transport it to their farm.
Ms Robertson wanted to thank Lions’ Need for Feed Disaster Relief for supplying the trucks and transporting the fed for the farmers for free.
“Through the organisations’ assistance, we have been able to save our money on freight costs which means we can buy more hay,” she said.
Hamper organiser Roxy Campbell thanked locals for “banding together as a community to support our local farmers”.
“We are working together with the Dilly Drought Drive to collect items including food, toiletries and gift cards to go to our farmers for Christmas,” she said on Facebook.
Donations can be made to more than a dozen locations around Macarthur including Khan’s IGA in Bargo and Picton, Picton Bendigo Bank, Derks Pet Supply in Picton, Wollondilly Council, MP Jai Rowell’s office in Tahmoor, The Oaks Post Office, the Oil Lady Lady at 13 Pembroke Parade Wilton.
Bank of Queensland Queen Street Campbelltown; Bar Centrale 2/186 Queen Street Campbelltown; Playmaze at 5/4 George Hunter Drive, Narellan; Pizzeria Cibele 4/61 Holdsworth Drive, Narellan Vale; and Ballards Butcher Rosemeadow Market Place will also accept donations.
Donations can be made until the end of November early December
Ms Robertson said volunteers would use the Camden Show hall to pack the hampers.
Drought Drive organisers and volunteers will also hold a Bunnings Narellan barbecue on September 1 to raise more money.
Locals can also drop money into tins located at scores of businesses in most towns around the shire.
Residents can recycle their drink containers through Prestons Container Deposit Centre or St George Recyclers - Rockdale Return and Earn. The returned money will then be donated to the Drive. The companies will collect locals’ recycables and a collection time can be booked online. The return can not be donated through the Return and Earn vending machines.
The Jacaranda Festival in Camden will also raise money for the Drive.
If organisations or groups want to fundraise for the Drive then they should contact the Dilly Drought Drive on Facebook.
The Drive is auspiced by the Lions Club of Tahmoor.
Details: Name: Lions Club of Tahmoor, BSB: 633 000, account number: 157928458.
For more information, visit Dilly Drought Drive or Hampers for Farmers in Drought (Support the Dilly Drought Drive) on Facebook.