On Saturday December 6, 567 Christmas hampers plus boxes of toys and gifts left the Eltham Hall and headed out to drought stricken farming families with everything having been donated by the caring community of the northern rivers.
Once again the response was amazing, not only the food; toys; gifts; laundry and toiletry products, but the boxes in which they were packed courtesy of Amcor; the freight as usual by Tamex whose local agent is Greg from Lismore Tenterfield Transport; the forklift and truck supplied by Mills Transport and driven by Dave their Transport Manager. The boxes were all loaded onto pallets once again by the wonderful Clunes RFS.
Thanks must also go to those who made cash donations, ranging from $20 to over $1,000 into the Drought Account, which enabled us to buy what was needed. Thanks also to the churches that donated. In particular the Uniting Church of Mullumbimby donated 40 boxes of goodies; the Bangalow Anglican op shop and the Seventh Day Adventist op shop each donated $500. Global Care from Ballina once again showed they really care!
Thank you to the wonderful children from Wollongbar and Modanville public schools, whose teachers encouraged them to collect for the farmers. All the local Lions Clubs generously donated cakes and cash, particularly Kingscliff, Byron Bay and the Bangalow Lions which facilitate the Drought Fund. Even the district governor and regional secretary who drove up from Port Macquarie with hundreds of cakes and puddings!!
It is impossible to thank everyone, but you know who you are and you can rest assured that your kindness is already making a huge difference out there in the dry and dusty outback. The appreciation is already being shown and one dear old farmer spoke to me of having his credit card rejected on $27 worth of groceries; he only had $11 left in the bank, so you can imagine how overwhelmed he was to receive his hamper!
Thank you everyone for making this appeal such a success once again: all the wonderful volunteers, particularly Karen Hagley who has been helping with this project for years; those who picked up and delivered (including my husband John) and helped to sort and pack. It was a lovely to meet you all and work with such great people.
Happy Christmas to you all.
Anne Thompson, organiser, North Coast Drought Appeal