“Buy My Wardrobe” has become an intrinsic part of the Myall River Festival event.
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This year the Pearls have set themselves a goal to top last year’s takings and donate all proceeds to our drought affected farmers once more, working with a coordinator in Murrurundi, Justine Cooper.
Ms Cooper said, “Doing It For Our Farmers” is a volunteer group that was started in May 2018 by a lady in Tamworth, Sue Ellen Wilkin, as a toiletry drive to help our farmers during the drought.”
“Since then the group has evolved into an organisation that provides not only toiletries but non perishable food, care packs, gift and petrol vouchers, hay and fodder, dog food, stock feed, Christmas presents and water.”
“We have a network of coordinators throughout NSW that all work together and are guided by Sue Ellen,” Ms Cooper said.
The Group now run a ‘Pop Up Pantry’ that is stocked entirely with donations that are delivered to the Pantry or with money that is donated.
This allows the Group to shop with local businesses to sustain them as they are suffering with the downfall in trade due to the drought.
The Pantry has also become a social meeting place, somewhere safe and non judgemental where farming families can come to take what they need and save the money they would have spent on groceries to use on other necessities on the farms.
Mental Health is huge and it takes a lot for the farmers to come into the Pantry but once they come in, they return as they find a place that welcomes and encourages them.
Ms Cooper said, “We offer a shoulder to cry on, ears to listen and arms to hug if wanted. We also offer paperwork, help and guidance from government and other drought relief agencies and work alongside those agencies to help our farmers make contact and get help.”
“We are all volunteers. It takes a lot of time and effort to make this work and keep it working,” she said.
“All of the time and effort is worth it. We will continue to be there for our farmers, to stand by their side, to show them we care, to keep supporting them and make a difference, be it big or small, right till the end,” Justine said.
By Sandra CLARK