Latest donation is timely as drought persists

Adrian Gath, Nick Pearce, and Glenn Box of 200 Bales, with Debbie Clemmet and Ros Lee from Newcastle Permanents Mudgee Branch.
Adrian Gath, Nick Pearce, and Glenn Box of 200 Bales, with Debbie Clemmet and Ros Lee from Newcastle Permanents Mudgee Branch.

Around a year after the first truck rolled into the region, 200 Bales has raised over half a million dollars to distribute thousands of bales to help local farmers struggling in the drought.

And their work continues in the midst of yet another dry winter.

"Thousands of supporters united to support hundreds of volunteers in assisting and showing some hope to hundreds of farmers in the Mid Western Regional Shire," coordinator Glenn Box said.

"After 12 months, well over $500,000 and over 3000 bales have been distributed throughout the region.

"The 200 Bales campaign is still in operation and preparing for another tough winter for our farmers in the region.

"We would be extremely grateful for any support that comes our way, we will immediately convert all funds to feed in preparation for later this year."

The initiative received an apt birthday present this week from Newcastle Permanent's staff donation scheme, which will help them buy over 80 additional bales.

Some of the hay to be distributed throughout the Mid-Western Region by the 200 Bales campaign, which is still active in ongoing dry conditions.

Some of the hay to be distributed throughout the Mid-Western Region by the 200 Bales campaign, which is still active in ongoing dry conditions.

The $16,569 donation the grassroots charity received has given it a timely boost.

This came courtesy of Newcastle Permanent employees through the building society's CommunityAssist Program.

The program provides more than $60,000 donated directly from employee salaries each year, enabling staff to make regular donations and nominate then vote on charities to receive a portion of the funds every six months.

Mudgee assistant branch manager, Debbie Clemmet, nominated 200 Bales in an effort to support those in her local community who are often too afraid to ask for help.

"Our local team has seen first-hand the devastating impacts the drought has had on our community and we're so delighted to be able to lend a helping hand through our CommunityAssist Program," she said. "I'm really proud to represent all of my colleagues who have donated so generously and chosen 200 Bales to receive the funds.

"This charity created by a group of Mudgee locals is vital because it enables community members to assist those who are often too shy or proud to ask for help. It makes me really pleased to work for a customer-owned organisation which helps us to give back to the communities that support us."

The 200 Bales campaign is still in operation and preparing for another tough winter for our farmers in the region.

Glenn Box 200 Bales coordinator

Glenn added that he was overwhelmed by the generosity of the donation and that the organisation's staff were thinking of the cause.

"It's a really special feeling knowing that Newcastle Permanent staff throughout New South Wales see value in our cause and we're incredibly grateful for their support," he said. "Most of us know a family member, neighbour or a friend that's doing it tough and this generous donation will help to restore hope in so many lives."

During the past 12 months numerous individuals, groups, and businesses chose to support 200 Bales through a variety of initiatives, including the Day In The Dirt music festival in November. His part in the campaign was one of the reasons Glenn was named the Mid-Western Region's 2019 Citizen of the Year.