Wollondilly girls walk to raise thousands to help local farmers

Happy travellers: Maclaryn and Lila Hackett are walking to school each day for a month to raise funds for the Dilly Drought Drive.
Happy travellers: Maclaryn and Lila Hackett are walking to school each day for a month to raise funds for the Dilly Drought Drive.

Maclaryn and Lila Hackett are proof that children can help to change people's lives.

The Oaks siblings have pledged to walk to school for the month of November to help raise money for local farmers - and they've already raised more than $3000.

Maclaryn and Lila are donating the money they have raised to the Dilly Drought Drive.

Their mother Belinda Hackett said she was proud of the girls.

"They saw a sign at the local supermarket about buying a tank of water to help the farmers and they asked me if I would donate," she said.

"I said that I would and suggested that they think of something they could do to raise some money as well.

"When they came to me and said they would walk the one-and-a-half kilometre trek to school I set up their GoFundMe with a goal of $300.

"But within the week they had raised more than $1000, so I set it at $2000 and now they've raised $3035 - it's just amazing."

When the Hackett family moved to Wollondilly from the Sutherland shire earlier this year, they didn't realise just how tough farmers had it.

Mrs Hackett said her family had learned a lot since moving to the 20-acre property.

"Water was not on our radar - when we lived in Sutherland we always had water in our taps and plenty of greenery to look at," she said.

Water was not on our radar - when we lived in Sutherland we always had water in our taps and plenty of greenery to look at.

Belinda Hackett

"Now that we are out here and we have 17 sheep, an alpaca and chickens, they are learning a lot.

"The girls have had to adjust the way they do things because we are on tank water - we have even had to buy feed for the animals because it is so dry out here.

"The girls just wanted to do what they could to help."

Mrs Hackett said she accompanied them on the walks to school.

"Lila was even asked to speak to her class about what they were doing and why," she said.

"We now have another little girl who walks to school with us that we pick up along the way too which is really nice.

"The girl's love the walk, they never complain and they have pledged to do it rain, hail or shine - not that we've had any rain."

Mrs Hackett encouraged locals to support her daughters or to support the Dilly Drought Drive directly.

"This is about people's livelihoods - farming is the only life they have ever known so to see them struggle through drought and have that potentially taken away is devastating," she said.

"Every dollar helps.

"I am very proud of Maclaryn and Lila - and we are so grateful to the community for getting behind them and supporting such a good cause."

Donate to the Dilly Drought Drive directly via these account details: Dilly Drought Drive Rural Aid, BSB: 114 879, account number: 415 417 799

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